The New York Knicks added some new faces to the roster that they are hoping can transform the offense.
The Knicks are looking to build off last season by instilling the same defensive-minded identity, with some added wrinkles.
New York Knicks: Can they adjust the offense?
First things first, the New York Knicks had spurts of good offensive output last season.
Tom Thibodeau’s squad was so synonymous with defense last season that oftentimes it led to an assumption that the offense was an afterthought.
While the offense wasn’t quite on the same level as the team’s defense, the Knicks were able to have a system in place. A slow, methodical offense that featured Julius Randle frequently as the orchestrater.
New York surrounded Randle with shooters. They had a bench unit of Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks that could come in and change the pace of the game.
It was an efficient system during the regular system, but when the Atlanta Hawks forced them to adapt to different looks in the playoffs, the Knicks had no answer.
Now, with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier in the mix, can this team incorporate some news look and be better prepared for the playoffs?
I’d imagine the Knicks to have a lot higher efficiency in the pick and roll. They were actually 5th in the league in pick-and-roll attempts per game but were not efficient.
Having added ball-handlers in Walker and Fournier along with a healthy Mitchell Robinson should improve that efficiency. I think it’s safe to assume there is going to be a lot more movement in the offense with those two replacing Reggie Bullock and Elfrid Payton.
Part of that is due to the pace of the offense — NY was the slowest team in the NBA last year. But those two stats don’t have to correlate as strongly as they do.
The other three slowest teams in the NBA, the Heat, Nuggets, and Clippers, ranked 8th, 5th, and 21st in assists per game respectively.
That’s the area where the New York Knicks need to make the jump: ball movement.
There’s still going to be Julius Randle isolations, and that’s fine. Having Randle take his man 1-on-1 and surrounding him with shooters is a dangerous combo. But that can’t be where the offense lives and dies.
Expect a similarly slow half-court offense but with added pep in their step. Fournier and Walker are handfuls to guard with the ball in their hands. They are going to force defenses to rotate, and this team is going to rely on added playmaking to become a more complete offense than they were last season.
This team wants to preserve the same defensive, grind-it-out mentality that brought them success last season but they don’t want to be too one-dimensional. Except this Knicks offense to have a new look next month.