Some Knicks Shot Location Trends (Through Four Games)

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Four games in, where are the Knicks shooting and where are their opponents shooting?

I know there's some other stuff going on in the NBA that's tangentially related to the Knicks, but I'm over here wading through HoopData shot location charts, which finally went up over the weekend. With the usual caveat that the Knicks have only played four games against three teams, here are some things. (Note: I got way too excited with this. If you want an actual takeaway, just scroll to the last paragraph).

OFFENSE

I paid a badger to count up the Knicks' attempt totals from different locations, and here's what I got:

117 threes

60 long twos

29 mid-range shots

20 shots in the paint outside three feet

97 shots at the rim

0 shots from inside a whale's mouth

Some context for the above: The Knicks have attempted more threes per game than anybody else in the league, yet they're 28th in long twos attempted per game. This pleases me. It'd be more useful, I suppose, to look at what percentage of New York's shots are long twos relative to other teams, given that they've played fewer possessions than almost all those other teams (29th in pace), but I don't know where to find that information and the badger ran off with my checkbook. Anyway, it's great to confirm that when the Knicks want to shoot long jumpers, they get behind that line. You get more points for that.

Probably related: The Knicks have shot much more accurately from a step behind the arc (44%) than from a step inside it (36%) and a much greater percentage of their three-point makes have been assisted (90%, 5th highest in the league) than their long twos (50%, 26th). Those numbers match what I've been noticing: the threes come off ball movement, the long twos are usually J.R. Smith/Raymond Felton/Carmelo Anthony trying to create off the bounce.

New York ranks pretty low in attempts in both paint categories (again, this isn't pace-adjusted, but still), but when they get inside, they're getting all the way to the rim (just eyeballing it, it looks like the Knicks would in the top half of the league if you did a ratio of shots at the rim to shots in the paint outside three feet). Again, the Knicks at present employ more dunkers and layer-uppers than teardroppers and hookers (tee-hee), so this all makes sense. Interestingly, very few of the Knicks' makes in the paint are assisted, and they're shooting a middling percentage from those areas relative to the rest of the league.

The Knicks are fourth overall in attempts from 10-15 feet, but are shooting just 28% from that range.

DEFENSE

The one thing that really stood out to me from here-- and the whole reason I started writing the post that snowballed into this nonsense-- is this: New York's opponents are shooting a very good percentage at the rim (70%, third overall) BUT those opportunities are few and far between. New York's surrendering just 20 at-rim attempts a game (which ties them with Brooklyn, oddly enough, for fewest in the league). When opposing players get into the paint, the Knicks are stopping them short of the rim (13 attempts between 3-9 per game, which is second most in the league) and forcing misses on those shots (33%, which is eighth-lowest). Knick opponents have also taken a lot of mid-range jumpers (7 per game, which is tied for third overall) but missed most of them (25%, which is tied for fifth-lowest). Opponents aren't shooting very many long twos, but they're missing damn near all of them (26%, lowest in the league).

So, while the Knicks' best defensive attribute through four games is the number of turnovers they're forcing, they've also done a pretty good job of walling off the rim and making teams take bad shots from intermediate ranges. The rotations be good, and Tyson Chandler always be good.

Behind the arc, teams are shooting a pretty average number of threes and hitting them at a pretty average rate. The main thing of note there is that opposing teams' three-point makes have been relatively unassisted (just 68%, 28th overall).

...and here's where I stop and remember that all I really meant to note was that the Knicks haven't been taking long twos and haven't been allowing attempts at the rim and that both of those things are good. Sorry for getting a little overexcited there. All that over just four games, too. I'm an idiot. On that note, let me know if I've interpreted anything wrong or if you notice anything else that seems telling.

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