Will the New York Knicks offense shock the world in the NBA playoffs?

RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Frank Franklin II/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Frank Franklin II/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Knicks
Julius Randle, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks can get more creative with their best player

Looking at Julius Randle specifically, the team is going to continue to run a lot of their offense through him. That doesn’t just mean Randle the scorer, it also means Randle the facilitator. Defenses are going to do everything in their power to stop the Randle baseline jumper and the Randle kick-out to the open shooter.

To help increase the effectiveness of the Randle-driven offense, The Knicks once again need more movement. Not just along the perimeter, but more cuts to the basket to help give him more options. We actually saw Randle utilize a nice little drop pass to Taj Gibson in the paint a few times in the Spurs game. Something we hadn’t really seen before.

We know this is an isolation-heavy offense, but I don’t mind it late in games, depending on the spot.

For as potent as that spot has been this season, Randle on the baseline is usually a mistake when the team runs it late in the game. It’s easy to trap, which is a bigger deal when there are only a few seconds on the clock. I much prefer him to have the ball near his other favorite spot, the elbow.

When Randle is in his triple-threat position near the elbow, it’s a much less effective spot to double team than it is in the low-post or along on the baseline. You don’t have the baseline as an extra defender. Randle has more room to operate and ball-handle – we saw him light up the Clippers from this spot to close out the game. 

I mentioned this in my previous article, but getting Randle even more involved as a roll-man in pick and rolls would be a lot of fun to see. Whether it’s with Barrett, Rose, Burks, or Quickley – getting Randle to operate as an off-ball partner could be a nice added wrinkle to the offense.

I can emphasize the importance of the New York Knicks’ secondary scorers all I want, but they still live and die with Julius Randle.

This team has the personnel to be a really strong half-court offense. They’re already a terrific shooting team.

So as they prepare to face the best teams in the NBA Playoffs, they need to expect the unexpected. They need to grow into what many think they’re incapable of.

They’ve already gotten close. We’ve seen the offense take over games, just not consistently. How many times have the New York Knicks lost to the top teams by just a possession or two?

Really, that’s how good this team is. Just a few small adjustments away from being able to steal some games against the top teams in the league. This team has been proving doubters wrong since December 23rd, 2020. Let’s see if they can continue to do so.

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