The New York Knicks have multiple players on the team who could be the guy to take the last shot in close games.
New York won 10 games last season that were within a 5 point differential, and it feels like every night, Knicks fans need to sweat out these games.
According to NBA.com’s clutch stats, the Knicks played 36 games that the NBA identifies as “Clutch Time.” These stats are defined by a team-leading or trailing by 5 points or less with 5 minutes or less left in the game.
Half of their games were put under this category. The Knicks went 20-16 in these games. The Knicks placed 7th place in clutch games won, so it’s safe to say they’re used to close games.
New York Knicks: Which player deserves the last shot in games?
Alec Burks spent a great deal of time as the Knicks “closer” last season. He would come in and run the point guard position instead of Elfrid Payton.
I’ve mentioned before that there is a decent chance Burks sees his role change, and there is a decent chance he is now going to be on the bench during clutch situations.
The Knicks’ offensive talent level increasing will make them less predictable in these late-game situations. It felt as if every time there were 5 seconds or less, it was obvious the Knicks would force the ball to Julius Randle.
The scouting report against New York was that Randle would get the ball,, and if not, they would look for Alec Burks. It was rare to see RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, or Immanuel Quickley ever end up with the ball late in games.
With the upcoming season seeing the Knicks have more offensive weapons, there will be more options for the end of game opportunities to where hopefully the play will not be forcing it to Randle for a contested shot.
Lastly, Alec Burks deserves an honorable mention before we get into the top 3 guys who should be the Knicks’ “closers.” He had his moments and is still a terrific shooter who should still be ready to step into the big moments. With that being said, let’s look at which players deserve the last shots the most.