The New York Knicks were the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference last year for two reasons. First off Carmelo Anthony was playing at a MVP level, and secondly the Knicks shot the three-point ball at historic levels. This season Anthony has still been playing good but not great, and the Knicks’ three-point shooting has not been anywhere near the levels it was at last season.
Against the Brooklyn Nets the Knicks found their three-point stroke once again. The team shot a blistering 59.3 percent from three-point range on Thursday night. They were led by the shooting of Iman Shumpert who went 5-for-8 from deep, and the team total is up 17 percent from their team average this year.
We all know the Knicks don’t have the same shooting on their team as last year, but they still have some very talented three-point shooters. Players like Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Shumpert, Andrea Bargnani, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Pablo Prigioni have all shown in the past they can hit the deep ball with consistency. If these players can continually hit the three-point shot it will help the Knicks space the floor. If teams decide to double-team Anthony on the low block the Knicks will have to hit these open threes to soften up opposing defenses. If they hit these open threes by moving the ball around and making an extra pass, it will help Anthony get less double-teams. And when Anthony has less double-teams he can absolutely abuse players one on one. It all depends on if these other players can hit their open threes.
When your team’s best attribute is the three-point shot it is a dangerous way to live. Living and dying by the three can kill you when you start going cold, and we have seen this with the Knicks so far this season. If the three-point shooting can come alive, the Knicks should be able to string some wins together.