The New York Knicks have started the season optimistically after a surprisingly strong season and some good moves in free agency. It started well, but in the end there was a problem in the Big Apple. The starting five have been a disaster so far. Does coach Tom Thibodeau need to change anything?
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New York is no normal basketball place, it’s the mecca with perhaps the best and most frenetic of NBA fans. Nowhere are there higher ups and downs higher than in the heart of Manhattan. The New York half was in each other’s arms a solid month ago when the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics to kick off after a double overtime.
The cheers from fans outside the venue went viral, “Bing Bong” was born, as was the image of the bulky fan who shaped his fingers into an “L” shape in front of his forehead. The fact that the Knicks started with 5-1 multiplied the euphoria and invited one to dream.
In a way, it was understandable. After the surprising entry into the playoffs last year, Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, two of the best available free agents, were drawn into the Big Apple, both guards were supposed to relieve Julius Randle and ensure more dynamism and scoring. the rear area. Euphoria is history for now.
New York Knicks: home losses slowed euphoria
With a 9-8 record, the Knicks are only ninth in the East, the initially furious offense stalled. Two home losses to basement kid Orlando as well as other bankruptcies against Toronto or Cleveland caused disillusionment.
“They played hard, we didn’t,” grumbled Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau after the second bankruptcy against Magic. These are words that made people sit down and pay attention because you could never blame the Knicks for that during the preseason. These Knicks were less talented, they mainly worked their victories with physical play. New Yorkers placed 24th (!) In the offensive standings for fourth place in the East.
Now, according to Cleaning the Glass, the Knicks ‘elite defensive rating last year only deteriorated by 0.4 points, but all teams’ offensive rating dropped by 4 points on average, which is why the Knicks are only in their parade. discipline at the moment Are average.
New York Knicks: Apple of discord with five starts
The big topic in New York is not even defense, but especially the new starting five. The combination of Walker, Fournier, RJ Barrett, Randle and Mitchell Robinson has played the most minutes together in the league, but is the league’s worst quintet after the Rockets and Thunder’s starting five with at least 100 minutes (note net: – 15.5).
Basically, the Knicks replaced Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock with Walker and Fournier, knowing full well it would weaken the defense. However, a defensive rating of 117 is questionable for the starters. Walker’s weaknesses are well known, Fournier also likes to take breaks, and then there’s Randle, who improved last year but is still last, especially in transition.
So the voices are louder after the changes, but Thibodeau still refuses to change anything. Barrett also recently said that they just haven’t found a rhythm yet. Thibodeau doesn’t want to use as an excuse that this group still needs something to get together.
New York Knicks starters stats
PlayerMINPTSFG% 3P% REBASTON / OFFKemba Walker24 711 743 141 72 43.0-27.7 Evan Fournier28 112 140 5220.127.116.11-14.6 R.J. Barrett32 814 938 818.104.22.168-19.2 Julius Randle35 420 442 235 310.05.1-26.7 Mitchell Robinson 22.214.171.124-7.60.8-16.3
New York Knicks: When is Thibodeau reacting?
“After ten games they say they need 20 games. After 20 they say 30 and after 30 they say 40. And before you know it the season is over. For me that talk is a lot of bullshit, “Coach Thibs said. He has already taken the first steps, Fournier and Walker spent the entire last quarter on the bench several times, it was rather Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley or Alec Burks who had to take the embers out of the fire. It is not uncommon for the crowd on the bench to turn on the electricity in the venerable MSG first.
Thibs does not envision a change in the starting five. Last year it had already been noticed how stubborn the coach can be when all of New York wants to see Rose for Payton. That wish was only granted when the Plyaoffs’ Atlanta Knicks found themselves with their backs to the wall.
Fixing “misery” only on the two newcomers would, however, be too short-sighted. The Knicks still have a positive record in the East which has strengthened and still have a lot of room for improvement. This can also be clearly demonstrated by the staff at Randle. The Power Forward played the season of their life in 20/21, became the most improved player, and even made the All-NBA second team before the Hawks showed them the limits.
New York Knicks: Reservist Statistics
PlayerMINPTSFG% 3P% REBASTON / OFFDerrick Rose22 912 045 041 92.83.4 + 24.4 Emmanuel Quickley18.28,639.036,11.92.1 + 26.1 Alec Burks21,09,742,343,83,41.7 + 8.0 Obi Toppin15,07,855,622 , 23.61.1 + 25.7
New York Knicks: Julius Randle not yet in shape
Randle is also the fixed star this year, but he’s yet to be able to bank on his final regular season. “It wasn’t good yet and I think that’s exactly how our season has gone so far,” the 27-year-old said of his performance. There is still a lack of consistency, Randle is the face of it. Randle has not put more than 16 points five times in a row, over the weekend in Chicago he was again 34.
His chances are in the basement and the theory that Randle would get easier deals with more offensive power around him has yet to solidify. Randle isolates less, takes less than two longs and more than three, but none of that has helped his efficiency so far.
Litters from the previous year no longer drop. In 20/21, it was 42% for the two men outside the zone, currently it is only 28%. At the same time, Randle only made eleven shots against Orlando, including ten from downtown. This is not what the image of the Knicks star, who has his strengths in the powerful drive to the basket should look like.
Left: Randle 21/22 – Right: Randle 20/21
New York Knicks: the truth is in the middle
And so the Knicks game has been crippled for the last few weeks after New York had the best offense in the league early on. 40% of transactions now come from downtown, a whopping eight percentage point increase, with the success rate only dropping by two points. It’s a good formula for success, but there are now gaps to be filled on the defensive level as well.
With the exception of his Wolves years, Thibodeau always managed to do this, and a top 10 defense was immediately created in New York. Despite the situation in the backcourt, that should be the hope this time around, too. At 9-8, the Knicks are still stable, despite all the talk about the right lineups.
But that’s how it is in the Big Apple. Before the start of the season, Las Vegas established the over / under line for the Knicks at 41.5 wins, so very slightly in the positive and the Knicks are there after 17 games – exactly where they were initially. With all the ups (bankers) and downs (starters), the truth is somewhere in the middle, as it so often is.