Lineup, roster, prediction, can they have their big fish? – Athleticism


Editor’s Note: Until October 15, we’ll be unveiling team previews of The Athletic’s John Hollinger, who will analyze each team on a variety of factors heading into this season.

New York Knicks

2020-21 season: 41-34 (fourth in the East), 23rd in attack, third in defense

Where we left off

Surprise Surprise. What was supposed to be hard work through a year of rebuilding after another offseason not having a big free agent instead ended in a seed in the East and a previously rare phenomenon known as infectious ‘optimism’. New York Knicks fans. The Knicks were eventually outclassed by Atlanta, but not before Tom Thibodeau won the NBA Coach of the Year award, Julius Randle made the All-NBA Second Team (!)

The key was a revamped defense that finished third in efficiency, with some help from the defense gods at 3 points. New York opponents shot just 33.7% of 3, the lowest percentage in the league, and they returned a lot – 41.3% of opponents’ shots, the seventh-highest rate in the league. . The Knicks haven’t challenged an unusual number; the data indicates they were almost certainly lucky, and a more normal conversion rate would have lowered New York’s defensive rank a bit. New York’s free-throw “defense” (76.1%) also gave him a boost of about half a point per game.

Nonetheless, it would have been a plus-defense even with bad luck.

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