2. New York Knicks area of need: Ball Movement
There are many ways to approach the most significant flaw on the offensive end of the floor. The common response is that the New York Knicks should go all-in on an individual playmaker who would thus enable other capable passers to play to their strengths rather than masquerading as true facilitators.
That would certainly help, but the key to sustained success will be implementing a system that instead emphasizes both ball and player movement.
New York currently ranks 22nd in pace and 27th in assists per game. It actually ranks 11th in turnovers per game and 14th in assists per 100 possessions, but there’s a bit more context to explore before calling the team ready to function offensively.
The Knicks rank 26th in potential assists per game and dead last in secondary assists—meaning the assists per 100 possessions figure is only operational in theory.
The issue in New York is that assists tend to come by one player finding an open man. That’s the general idea of the game, yes, but the Knicks have been reluctant to embrace the opportunity to make the extra pass to turn a good shot into a great shot.
Elfrid Payton did a more than admirable job of racking up assists—10th in the NBA in assists per game—but he’s just further proof of the need for an actual offensive system.
The flashes of brilliance through team play under Mike Miller proved to be Exhibit Z of this.