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Fun with numbers: Inside the Knicks’ Opening Night beatdown

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Brandon Jennings is allergic to open shots; Joakim Noah love passin’ n scrappin’.

NBA: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Hi, friends. Have you recovered yet from the Knicks’ horrendous Opening Night loss to the Cavaliers? Have you blocked the term “superteam” from Twitter?

There are still several days until they play again, so let’s dig into some facts and figures from Tuesday. I’ll be gentle ...

The Knicks attempted 30 midrange field goals against the Cavaliers. As the Phoenix Suns' coach from the start of the 2013-14 season to Feb. 1, 2016, when he was fired, Hornacek's players attempted 30 midrange shots 10 times in 213 games (so about four times a season). In that same span, the Knicks had 74 games with at least 30 midrange shots.

Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This offense is going to be led by Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, two dudes who love the midrange shot. And that’s perfectly fine ... so long as they hit a good portion of those shots.

  • The Knicks got plenty of open looks — 44 of their 87 field goal attempts were classified as “uncontested” by NBA Stats. They simply failed to capitalize, hitting a woeful 31.8% on those open looks. Melo (2-6), Rose (3-7) and Kristaps Porzingis (3-7) were noted slackers, but the real culprit was Brandon Jennings. MSG’s new favorite son shot 1-7 on uncontested looks. As fun as Jennings’ passing was in the preseason, he was 27% from the field overall and didn’t appear to have the slightest interest in releasing a normal basketball shot. Time to put the ball in the bucket, my man.
  • Joakim Noah clearly doesn’t have his legs under him yet after missing time with a hamstring issue. That being said, his 20 minutes of work on Tuesday were about as Joakim as you’d expect. Just how Joakim was he against the Cavs? He led the team in total passes (43) despite his lack of playing time. He also led the team in loose balls recovered (4) and drew the only two charges of the game.

You keep on doing you, Joakim Noah. You are fun to watch.