The New York Knicks are clearly hyper-focusing on the three-point shooting, adding Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker in free agency. They also drafted a Quentin Grimes out of Houston — he is known for his distance shooting and defense.
Last season, the Knicks landed 4th in the league in three-point shooting at 38.8%, having just a bit more efficiency at home compared to away. In 2019, they connected on just 33.7% of their shots from range, which would’ve landed them at 29th overall this past year, just ahead of Cleveland. During the first half of the season, the team struggled in the category but picked it up big-time after the All-Star break, and based on their numbers, they could be in for a tremendous season from beyond the arc.
New York Knicks primary distance shooters:
The Knicks replaced Reggie Bullock with Evan Fournier on a four-year, $78 million deal. Fournier, who is able to create opportunities for himself, shot 41.3% from three point range last season, a career-high for the French native. He is traditionally a quality shooter from range, attempting the most shots from three in his career at 6.7. If he can maintain that success rate, he would already be above the league average.
One of the biggest surprises last season was RJ Barrett and his three-point shooting. His corner shot ended up being one of the Knicks’ most lethal factors, as he connected on 40.1% of his shots from three. This was up 8% compared to his rookie season in 2019, and if he can continue taking big strides forward, the entire team will benefit.
Julius Randle set multiple career-highs during his first All-Star performance last year, but his three-point percentage was one that saw a significant jump. After posting a 27.7% success rate in 2019, Randle saw his numbers balloon to 41.1% over 5.5 attempts. If he can maintain that efficiency, the Knicks are already hovering above 40% from range, which would put them in the top three.
Kemba Walker is known for his versatility and athleticism in the paint, but he’s also an efficient shooter. Attempting 8.2 three-point shots per game last season, he connected on 36%, down 2% from his 2019 final numbers. He hit a career-high 40% in 2016, and given the fact that he will be splitting minutes with Derrick Rose, if the Knicks can get the most productive version of Walker, he will also play a big role in elevating that overall statistic.
Derrick Rose was a godsend for the Knicks last season after he was acquired from Detroit at the deadline. Rose hit a career-high 41.1% of the shots from three-point range, attempting 2.6 per game. He has seen his distance shooting improve gradually over the past few seasons, which plays directly into the Knicks’ strategy this upcoming year.
Quickley was one of the bright spots for the Knicks’ youth foundation, and he’s projected to play a big role as a shooting guard this upcoming year and backup plan guard if need be. He connected on 39% of his shots from three-point range over 4.7 attempts, showcasing a solid rate for a rookie.
The Knicks extended Alec Burks on a three-year contract this off-season, thanks to his offensive production in 2020. He hit 41.5% of his three-point attempts, launching 5.0 per game. By simply looking at the statistics, the Knicks have multiple starters and reserve players that shoot 39+ percent from range, which sets them up for a fantastic season shooting. Combined, all seven of these players average out at 40.01% from 3-PT range, which would’ve landed them second place just behind the Los Angeles Clippers at 40.5% last season.
The post Why the Knicks could be one of the best 3-PT shooting teams next season appeared first on Empire Sports Media.