3 Terrifying realities opposing teams have to recognize with the Knicks


3 Terrifying realities opposing teams have to recognize with the Knicks

Obi Toppin, Julius Randle, EVan Fournier, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

It’s Halloween Season and the New York Knicks are off to a blazing hot start to kick off the new NBA campaign. Despite some expectations that New York might come back down to reality after a jump scare of a year, the Knicks have spooked some of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference with wins over the Celtics, 76ers, and Bulls. Trust me when I say this isn’t a fluke either.

The Knicks have taken another step forward

New York is towards the top of the NBA in 3 pointers made and after being dead last in pace last season, they now play some of the fastest and most thrilling basketball in the entire league. To sum all of this up, the orange and blue have simply improved as a team.

The holes that prevented them from moving on past the 1st round last playoffs seem to have been resolved here in the early going.

This means teams who have laughed at the Knicks in years past are in for a bit of a jolt. Here are 3 frightening realities Knicks opponents will come to realize when they match up with New York throughout the duration of the season.

3 Terrifying realities opposing teams have to recognize with the Knicks

Obi Toppin, Julius Randle, EVan Fournier, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

It’s Halloween Season and the New York Knicks are off to a blazing hot start to kick off the new NBA campaign. Despite some expectations that New York might come back down to reality after a jump scare of a year, the Knicks have spooked some of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference with wins over the Celtics, 76ers, and Bulls. Trust me when I say this isn’t a fluke either.

The Knicks have taken another step forward

New York is towards the top of the NBA in 3 pointers made and after being dead last in pace last season, they now play some of the fastest and most thrilling basketball in the entire league. To sum all of this up, the orange and blue have simply improved as a team.

The holes that prevented them from moving on past the 1st round last playoffs seem to have been resolved here in the early going.

This means teams who have laughed at the Knicks in years past are in for a bit of a jolt. Here are 3 frightening realities Knicks opponents will come to realize when they match up with New York throughout the duration of the season.

3 Terrifying realities opposing teams have to recognize with the Knicks

Obi Toppin, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks deadly 3-Point shooting

A need the New York Knicks needed to address this off-season was simply ‘offense.’ While the team finished as the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, they ranked 27th in the entire NBA in points per game. New York responded to this necessity by signing Evan Fournier to a 4-year contract while also adding all-star point guard Kemba Walker towards the back end of free agency after he was bought out by the Thunder.

The chilling strong suit of both these assets is their lethal shooting ability. Fournier, a career 38% 3-point shooter is shooting 41.9% from deep through the first 5 games while Kemba Walker is shooting a fear-inspiring 58.1% from behind the arc.

Yes, you can say the Knicks didn’t need much help with new y3-point shooting. They ranked 4th in the entire league in percentage a year ago however they were 26th in 3-pointers attempted. Now, the Knicks are once again 4th in the league in percentage shooting 38% from deep but now they take the 5th most 3s per game shooting over 42 per contest.

This change really helps fans appreciate Leon Rose and Scott Perry even more than they already do. They weren’t satisfied with the creepy climb of the standings we experienced last year and decided to be aggressive and make some moves.

If the Knicks can keep pace with this hot start it can confidently be said that this squad can compete with at the very least the majority of the teams in the league. Especially in the playoffs, the consistent shooting seemed to be one of the few things the Knicks were missing so it should be super intimidating for contending opponents to come to MSG.

3 Terrifying realities opposing teams have to recognize with the Knicks

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

NY Knicks: RJ Barrett’s Defense will give you Goosebumps

RJ Barrett’s improvement from year 1 to year 2 was an adrenaline rush and one of the most encouraging things we witnessed last season. His shooting went from subpar to efficient and he was able to establish himself as a legitimate 2nd option for Julius Randle while he also stayed healthy playing in all 72 games last season.

Going into 2021-2022, it would be pretty logical to argue that the next step for Barrett would be a significant improvement on the defensive end of the floor. In a New York Post article a few days back, Barrett said he wants to be 1st team all defense at the end of the season. He is definitely playing up to that standard thus far.

RJ’s scream-worthy defensive highlights of the season thus far include forcing Jayson Tatum to shoot 7-30 from the field in 44 minutes as well as locking up DeMar DeRozan on defense to earn the victory for the Knicks this past Thursday night against the Bulls. Last season, Reggie Bullock was the man Thibs would rely on to guard the other team’s best player.

While a lot of fans (including myself) are much more satisfied with Fournier in the starting 5 it cannot be denied that Bullock’s defensive presence, especially along the perimeter, will be deeply missed.

If RJ has truly evolved to take on this role and then some, Knick opponents are going to have a tough time sleeping at night prior to playing them. At this point in his career, you can rely on the swingman to put up 20 points from night to night but it’s the defense he’s displayed this season; consider it a treat and not a trick.

3 Terrifying realities opposing teams have to recognize with the Knicks

Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Teams will be petrified of the Knicks’ Bench 

If you take a look at most of the recent NBA champions, something they all have in common is a deep bench. The Bucks had Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis, the Lakers had Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo, and the Raptors had Fred Van Fleet and Serge Ibaka. The list goes on.

When you look at the Knicks’ roster, it’s easy to see how much this organization values their bench unit. By signing Kemba Walker, it allows New York to keep Derrick Rose as the reserves’ floor general alongside Alec Burks (who shot over 40% from 3 last season), Nerlens Noel (who was top 5 in blocked shots per game last year), Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, and more players who can serve as a spark.

The intimidation factor with this reserve unit is legit. So far this season, the New York Knicks reserves are 5th in the NBA with 39.2 points per game and dish out 8.6 assists per game as well. With workload being a controversial topic on the team last year the reliability of this second unit will keep important players like Julius Randle well rested and really give opposing benches the jitters.

With all of this production, the potential this Knicks team as a whole is really spooky for the opposition and you never know who’s going to beat you. Surely you can mainly prepare defensively for the Randles, Walkers, etc. but the entire NBA is in for a rude awakening and will be biting their fingernails when they see New York around the top of the power rankings throughout the season.

Happy Halloween and Bing Bong!

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