2. Three-point percentage
This could be why we saw the Knicks go out in such embarrassing fashion in the playoffs. While there were several factors going into that loss, none may be bigger than how poorly New York shot from behind the arc.
During the regular season, the Knicks shot 35.7 threes per game, which ranked eighth in the NBA. Despite this, they shot just 35.4% from range, ranking 19th. The Knicks may not be stacked with shooting talent, but this number certainly isn’t a good thing to see. To make things even worse, after a mediocre shooting season, New York just about collapsed from three in the playoffs.
In 11 games, the Knicks shot 32.7 threes a game, hitting a playoff low 29.2% of them. In the modern NBA, no team is going to see high-level success when shooting the ball so poorly. However, even with the core the Knicks currently have, this problem can easily be fixed.
This, in a way, relates to the previously mentioned assist numbers. If the Knicks run more off-ball oriented plays to get shooters open, shots will fall at a higher rate. This means no more possessions where Randle or Brunson dribble the ball for the majority of the shot clock to either pass at the last second or take a tough shot. It may work in the regular season, but for Randle, at least, it gets shut down in the playoffs.
Another thing that would go a long way is for certain players to simply shoot fewer threes. For example, there was no reason for Randle to shoot 8.3 threes and Barrett to take 5.3 of his own per game last season. This gets worse when you consider that actual good shooters like Brunson and Grimes only took 4.7 and 5.7 a game, respectively. Not only will those two shooting fewer threes help the team, but their own percentages will rise as well.