New York Knicks Have Improved Offensively and Defensively

By A.J. Speier

Last year, the New York Knicks finished the regular season ranked eleventh in offense and defense, but if the first three games is any indication, those statistics are about to improve.

The Knicks are currently ranked third in scoring with 104.7 points per game and first in defense with just 85.3 points allowed. They averaged 98.5 points and allowed an average of 92.5 points per game last season.

Head coach Mike Woodson didn’t do anything different to the offense and defense either.

Instead, the Knicks’ offensive success can be attributed to their commitment to ball movement similar to what the San Antonio Spurs do. It has helped prevent dead isolations through Carmelo Anthony, helping set up easier for Anthony and his teammates.

While the offense hasn’t changed, what has changed is their shooting coach.

With the addition of new shooting coach Dave Hopla, the Knicks’ 3-point shooting ranks second at 45.3-percent, a big improvement from their 21st-ranked 33.6-percent from last year. They also rank third in free throw shooting, making 82.7-percent of their attempts improving from their 22nd-ranked 74.1-percent last season.

Anthony is also currently third in scoring with an average of 26 points per game. He was sixth last season with 22.6 points.

Defensively, the Knicks are benefiting from their veteran experience. The addition of Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer and Raymond Felton has helped the Knicks limit their opponents’ shooting to just 40.7-percent from the field.

It’s incredible how well the Knicks have done defensively considering they have been without injured players Iman Shumpert and Marcus Camby. However, the Knicks have also benefited without Amar’e Stoudemire. He’s a player that has struggled defensively in recent years.

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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