NY Knicks: Critical flaw on offense exposed by Lakers

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Knicks
Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau, NY Knicks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks need to get more creative

First off, there are methods of getting to the rim and finishing that the players individually can take into their own hands.

We know Randle and Barrett have overwhelming strength. We know Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley can blow by anyone. You just have to go up strong.

I know, the NY Knicks have been shooting lights out, but when your shot isn’t falling, you have to put your head down and take that ball to the rack. Embrace contact and at the very least, draw a foul and get to the line.

If I miss 3-straight jump shots, you best believe I’m going right to the rim and trying to draw a foul. Getting that first shot to fall after a long stretch of misses is critical.

Keep the defense honest and make them second guess themselves. I know for a fact those Knicks players can have higher at-rim percentages than the ones they have currently. They have the physical tools.

NY Knicks: How can Tom Thibodeau get more creative?

From a team standpoint, you would like to see more innovation out of the offense. There’s no “Instant fix” but I can certainly think of ways to make life more difficult for defenses without compromising the Knicks’ preferred slow pace.

This doesn’t mean get rid of the Randle isolations. Let’s not forget how he cooked the Clippers down the stretch just a few days ago. It just means experimenting more.

I would love to see the Knicks utilize Randle as a pick-and-roll man. It seems like every time he sets a pick, he’s going through the motions where he slowly parks himself in the post. The only time we get a hard run to the rim is from Taj Gibson or Nerlens Noel… not ideal.

Late in games, what about Derrick Rose running P&R with Randle. Imagine how hard that would be to defend?

Randle diving hard to the rim, or even cutting back out off of a baseline down screen for a corner three look. Defenses are going to be very preoccupied with Randle with or without the ball – get him moving around the court. Get other guys cutting back door. We rarely see a backdoor cut on this team.

It goes beyond just Randle. What about Barrett setting more screens for guards? He certainly has the strength.

Immanuel Quickley is a knockdown catch-and-shooter from 3 (He shoots them at a 48.2% clip) yet he rarely gets those looks. Almost all of his shots have to be products of his own ball-handling/creation. Get him moving off the ball. Defenses already have to worry about Randle and Rose, imagine the headache of Quickley sprinting around off of screens? It would open up the paint that much more.

The NY Knicks aren’t always going to play teams who are as good defensively as the Lakers. Still, they need to look in the mirror and ask themselves why they’re not finishing at the rim with more conviction.

This is a group of coaches and players that are always looking to put in the work to improve. They’ve shocked the world this season. If they want to continue to do so, they’ve got to start finishing at the rim.

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