4 Statistics the Knicks must improve to not disappoint next season

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle with guard Jalen Brunson Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle with guard Jalen Brunson Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /
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Despite a relatively successful 2022-23 season, the Knicks ended their year in playoff misery. While they certainly defied any expectations they were given throughout the season, that doesn’t mean that the Knicks didn’t disappoint during their second-round exit to the Miami Heat.

In this series, we saw many of the Knicks’ flaws exploited. These were problems in the regular season already, but once it became time for the postseason, these little issues had disastrous consequences.

Going into the 2023-24 season, the Knicks and Tom Thibodeau must improve upon these four statistics to increase their chances of making a potential finals appearance. If they fail to do so, we could see a similar end to the Knicks’ season with yet another embarrassing playoff exit.

4 stats the Knicks must improve heading into the 2023-24 season

4. Free throw percentage

It has seemingly become a meme in the Knicks and NBA community that New York has a free throw problem. This haunted fans in both the regular season and playoffs, as the Knicks were a bottom 10 team in this statistic throughout both sections of the year.

During the regular season, New York averaged 25.5 free throw attempts per game, which ranked third in the league. Despite this, the Knicks hit just 76.1% of these attempts, ranking 22nd amongst teams. While several playoff teams, such as the Grizzlies and Nuggets, shot a similar percentage, both teams saw an increase once it became time for the playoffs.

The Knicks did not fare so well. During their 11 games in the postseason, New York shot 74.6% from the line on a playoff-high 26.8 attempts. So, while averaging the most attempts of any team, the Knicks shot the third-worst percentage, which is unacceptable. Entering next season, this issue cannot persist if the Knicks wish to make a serious run at a championship.

On paper, free throws may not seem too important, but when a team takes so many and misses as much as the Knicks do, it becomes a serious problem. New York has the talent to get to the line; they just have to see an increase in the ability to hit said free throws. Players like Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett must see marginal improvement from this spot to maximize the team’s capabilities.