The New York Knicks currently rank in the dead center of the NBA in three-point percentage -- 15th in the league at .333% overall. An average score like that is, by its very nature, not terribly fascinating. What's really interesting -- and maybe a little bit terrifying -- is how much of that perfectly decent three-point percentage is reliant on one guy: Langston Galloway.
- Galloway: 11-17 (64.7%)
- Rest of the Knicks: 25-91 ( 27.4%)
Young Langston leads the NBA in three-point percentage (good!) so far, while pretty much every other Knick is shooting far worse than expected (bad!). While he has certainly struggled to hit shots closer to the basket, Galloway has compensated by upping his free throw rate to .417 -- third-best on the team and 14th in the league among guards. Believe it or not, he has gotten to the line at a higher rate than Chris Paul, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook, not to mention Carmelo Anthony. While I wouldn't expect such eye-popping numbers to hold, it does point to one incontrovertible fact ... Langston goooooood.
Sadly, the Knicks (and maybe even Galloway himself) are the only ones who don't seem to realize he should be shooting more. He currently ranks ninth on the club in field goal attempts per 36 minutes, at 9.6. That's 2.5 attempts fewer than Sasha Vujacic, which is disgusting and wrong.
You may have noticed an odd pattern with Galloway's shot attempts -- namely, that they all seem to come in the second half. That's not an illusion. Lang-starr actually puts up a healthy 5.0 shot attempts in the second half of games, tied for second on the team. The shot attempt split is stark:
Both Galloway and his teammates are plagued with a disease I like to call "Save Us, Galloway" Syndrome, or SUGS for short. In the first half the Knicks usually run their offense fairly well -- everybody gets their shots, and Galloway is content to play the role of distributor. Then teammates go cold, the opposing defense adjusts, and suddenly the Knicks can't get bucket from anyone other than Carmelo Anthony. This is when they turn to Galloway. It happened in the Milwaukee win, it happened in the Washington win, and it even happened in last night's loss to Cleveland. The team forgets he can -- and should -- score, right up until they find themselves out of other options.
The Knicks should fight this problem on two fronts. First, Galloway has to be more aggressive in taking shots early in the game. If you're open, let it fly! It's also up to Derek Fisher to get him more involved in the offense when he first checks into the game. Hell, they might want to consider using Melo as a screener for him, which certainly worked at the end of the Wizards game:
Look, we all know the score by now: Fisher will play Galloway with the second unit to start the game, and then treat him like a starter by the end of the third quarter. If the Knicks are going to rely on Galloway so heavily during his second-half minutes, they might as well give him the same level of attention when he plays in the first half.