Last season, the Knicks made it to the second round for the first time since 2013. While they lost in six games to the Heat, the Knicks showed more promise than they have in 10 years. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Leon Rose shake things up to take advantage of New York’s potential championship window.
With the way some teams in the East could be falling apart in coming seasons, the Knicks shouldn’t be hesitant to make moves to become true contenders. This opportunity has only been presented a handful of times for New York in the last 20 years, so being aggressive may be the right move.
If the Knicks truly wish to push toward contention, they must consider making these three moves. The current state of the roster won’t cut it, barring a miracle.
3 moves the Knicks still need to make to become contenders
3. Improve the team’s three-point shooting
It truly is jarring to look at how poorly the Knicks shot from three in the regular season and playoffs compared to the true contenders in the league. If New York wishes to be one of those top teams pushing for the Larry O’Brien trophy, the team must improve their shooting from deep.
In the 2022-23 season, the Knicks shot 35.4% from three on 35.7 attempts. While this is below league average, it was still good enough to earn the Knicks a top-five seed in a pretty stacked Eastern Conference. However, once it became playoff time, New York completely fell apart from beyond the arc.
Through 11 games, the Knicks shot 29.2% from range on 32.7 attempts per game. This was the worst of any team that made the postseason. Considering that both teams that made the NBA Finals were top three in playoff three-point percentage, it becomes relatively clear that this trend cannot continue.
While it would be nice to see the Knicks acquire another shooter other than Donte DiVincenzo, such as Buddy Hield or Luke Kennard, they don’t necessarily need to do this to improve their efficiency. For example, a great way to improve the team’s three-point percentage would be for certain players to shoot less.
There is no reason for Julius Randle to be taking 8.3 threes per game, especially considering that he shot 34.3% from that range. To put into perspective how silly it is for Randle to be shooting so much, Hield shot 8.5 threes a game and shot 42.5%. Simply shooting fewer threes will not only help Randle be more efficient, but the team itself will benefit.
Even players like RJ Barrett, who took 5.3 attempts per game, should shoot threes less. This amount of attempts on its own isn’t bad, but when you consider that Barrett shot 31%, you begin to see why it’s such a problem. Hopefully, we see changes such as this one to the offense to make the Knicks a premier three-point shooting team.