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What’s working, what’s not with Knicks so far this season
- Updated: November 15, 2016
Now that we are ten games into the season, it is a good time to look at where the New York Knicks’ overhauled roster is stacking up. With ten new players on the 15-man roster, everyone expected some growing pains as these new-look Knicks learned to play together. That has certainly been the case so far, but there have been some signs of improvement for the Knicks in recent games. They currently sit at 10th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4-6. Here is a look at what is working and what’s not for the Knicks so far this year:
Kristaps Porzingis Is Becoming a Superstar
The 7’3” big man with the 7’6” wingspan was very good in his rookie year, and has come back even better as a sophomore. Through ten games, he is averaging 19.3 points, 6.8 and 1.8 rebounds per game. He had his best performance of the year in the Knicks’ most recent game, a 93-77 dismantling of the Dallas Mavericks. In that game, Porzingis scored 24 points and snagged 11 rebounds. He also stared down Dirk Nowitzki after burying a shot using Nowitzki’s signature move, the one-footed fadeaway. If Porzingis continues to improve at this rate, he will soon be a legitimate NBA superstar.
The Offense is Better
One of the major problems with the Knicks is that Phil Jackson is forcing them to continue to run his antiquated triangle offense. New Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek is not much of a triangle fan, and he is forgoing it as much as possible. That is good for the Knicks. They have been running a lot more pick-and-rolls, and that has led to improved scoring. Last season, they averaged 98.4 points per game, but this year that is up to 101 points per game.
The Defense Is a Joke
The Knicks really should consider themselves fortunate to be just a game below .500 with the defense they have played. They are giving up 106.5 points per game, and their defensive rating is the worst in the league. Part of the reason for this is because they have so many new players. It takes a while for new players to gel together on defense and learn how to communicate effectively. Over time, there defense should improve, but it will likely remain near the bottom of the league all season.
New Acquisitions Not Working out So Well
There was a lot of excitement when the Knicks brought in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from the Bulls, but so far these two have floundered in the Big Apple. Rose is averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 assists per game, both of which are significantly down from his career averages. Noah has been even worse. He even was benched for the entire second half in the game against the Mavericks after he played terribly in the first half.
Before the season, the Westgate Sports Book predicted the Knicks would get 40 wins. That prediction seems about right 10 games into the season. Unless they can make significant improvements on defense, they will simply not be able to score enough to win enough games to get into the playoffs this year.