New York Knicks: The offense MUST catch up to the defense

Julius Randle, Alec Burks, and Mitchell Robinson - New York Knicks. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Julius Randle, Alec Burks, and Mitchell Robinson - New York Knicks. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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The Knicks’ offense has looked better as of late, but there are still some kinks the team would like to work out. A lot of the team’s woes on offense this season have come from a lack of ball movement, so let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind the Knicks’ stagnant offense.

In the most recent Bulls game on February 3rd, I had recorded some of these stats with my own tracking, so they are rough but accurate measurements. Let’s look at the Knicks’ point guard play:  Payton was the point guard for 43 possessions against the Bulls and Quickley was for 19. I want to look into which possessions led to zero, one, or multiple passes, not counting the inbound pass.

Under Payton, 28% of the possessions ended with Zero passes, 30% with one pass, and 42% with multiple passes. With Quickley the lead guard, 42% were zero passes, 26% with one pass, and 32% Multiple pass possessions.

If the Knicks switch from an ISO heavy offensive approach to a more ball-moving, assist-dominant, three-point shooting play style, it could elevate them from where they are now in the middle of the pack

Keep in mind the way the Knicks’ offense operates even off multiple passes. It is often simply an exchange among three players at the head of the key without a threatening to score. Then, one of these players goes into isolation — Often it’s Randle with a twisting drive with many dribbles or Barrett with a multi-dribble foray into the lane. At least Barrett is pulling up for a mid-range jumper instead of trying to get to the rim at all costs. Payton and Quickley were guilty, as well.

Nearly half of Quickley’s possessions running the point ended without a single pass being made. The player who took the inbound pass was the only Knick to get a touch. One of the shots that Quickley took was a ‘what the heck’ three that was way off. Where is the Immanuel Quickley who played with such a high IQ and dished out assists in earlier games? Perhaps the influence of the isolation games of RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, as well as the competition with Payton for minutes has made Immanuel a selfish player.