Shane Larkin Can Provide a Spark for New York Knicks in 2014-15

By Matt Constas
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Knicks are adjusting to a new culture as a team, point guard Shane Larkin will be able to adjust with them entering his first season with the team.

The speedy guard out of the University of Miami saw limited time with the Dallas Mavericks last season, playing in jut 48 games and averaging 10 minutes per outing. After coming to the Big Apple with a handful of teammates and draft picks in a trade for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, Larkin could have an impact in the second year of his career.

There are a couple of factors that make Larkin’s potential to be successful as soon as next season highly likely. First, he came over to the Knicks with veterans Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington and Samuel Dalembert. He has some people who he knows and are comfortable with. He can learn a lot from Calderon, a gifted offensive floor general, and probably already has. For a guy who was picked by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft and has now been traded twice early in his career, having guys he is comfortable with around him can go a long way.

Another factor that will influence the play of Larkin is the presence of head coach Derek Fisher. I wouldn’t say that about most rookie head coaches, but Fisher is an exception to that. Since he played just last season, having him on the sideline is like having another veteran on the bench to help with team chemistry. He is a point guard by trade and will teach Larkin the ins-and-outs of Phil Jackson‘s triangle offense system. Fisher will play a huge role in the development of Larkin not only this season but in the future as well.

While having a lot of people around to help you hone your talents, the talent of Larkin is something that will also give him a chance to have a solid year for the Knicks in 2014-15. The son of former MLB player Barry Larkin, Shane is a natural athlete. He won an ACC championship with the Hurricanes in his sophomore season and proved he is quick on his feet at the draft combine. He had the fastest three quarter sprint (3.08 seconds) and the fifth fastest lane agility time (10.64 seconds).

Even though he didn’t play too much during his first regular season in the NBA, Larkin proved in four D-League games and the 2014 summer league that he can run an offense. After suffering an ankle injury in the 2013 summer league, helping get his career off to a bad start, he played in all five of the Knicks’ games in Las Vegas this summer.

He averaged 12.2 points, a team-high 3.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game to go along with three steals per outing as well. Larkin showed what he can do on both ends, also sporting a nice assist/turnover ratio of two. He can improve on his three-point shooting as he only made 30 percent of them in Vegas, but shot 40.6 percent in his sophomore and final season at the college level. If he gets used to the changed distance, that will be something Knicks fans will be excited about.

Shane Larkin has had an eventful start to his career. Two trades and injuries haven’t hindered his chances at success. Set up with a New York Knicks team that is rebuilding and growing itself, Larkin has time to put all of his skills together, because he definitely has a solid set of them. With Derek Fisher and other veterans helping him and other youngsters to grow with, Larkin has a chance to make a difference for the Knicks as soon as this season.

The Knicks certainly have some young talent on the team this season. New Yorkers might actually get a chance to see these players develop, which might make Knicks tickets worth the price.

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