You like numbers? Sure you do! Here’s 12 of ‘em. Also, when I think of 12 I think of clocks. So each section opens with something referring to whatever o’clock corresponds with that number on the list. A few feature church bells. How I love church bells.
This season, Julius Randle led the Knicks in points and rebounds and was second in assists. Only five other NBA players dominated their teams to that extent: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić lead the Bucks, Mavericks and Nuggets in all three categories; LeBron James leads the Lakers in points and assists and is second in rebounds; and Miami’s Bam Adebayo is first on the Heat in assists and rebounds while second in points.
Honorable mention to Anthony Davis, who leads the Lakers in rebounds while ranking second in points and third in assists. Thunder teammates Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander both barely missed the cut — CP3 leads OKC in assists and is third in points and rebounds, while SGA is tops in points, second in boards and third in dimes.
Double honorable mention to Carmelo Anthony. Melo is second on the Blazers in rebounds and fourth in points and assists. He’s also the last Knick to top the charts the way Randle did: in 2016 Anthony led New York in points and assists and finished second in rebounds to Robin Lopez.
Everyone knows Mitchell Robinson led the Knicks in blocked shots. Your ancestors know it. But do you know the only other Knick to average more than a block per 36 was Taj Gibson? Or when was the last time a Knick team was so bad blocking shots? Teams are shooting more and more long jumpers, which means fewer shots going up in the paint where the tall trees grow. The 3>2 brutalism that’s overrun the league means this sort of thing may become more and more common, assuming climate change and global pandemics don’t render professional sports obsolete.
The drop this year was steep and fast, though. The two seasons prior to this one, five Knicks averaged more than a block per 36. In 2016 four averaged 2+ blocks per. In 2014 Cole Aldrich and Earl Clark both averaged better than 3 per. In 2013, seven Knicks blocked better than one shot per. The 2009 Knicks get an asterisk — Mouhamed Sene averaged 6 blocks per, Demetris Nichols 4 and Jerome James 3. However, that triple threat combined to play just 25 minutes that season.
The last Knick team with a rejection cupboard as bare as this year’s was the 2008 squad. That level of hell was led by Renaldo Balkman with 1.1 blocks per 36. Wilson Chandler was second. Jesus Christ.
Last year, eight Knicks made at least one 3 per game. That was almost a club record, but not quite. In 2011 & 2013, 9 Knicks averaged pulled that off, with 2013 owing a debt to Quentin Richardson for making one in his lone appearance that season.
Despite the Knicks’ upswing in long-distancing, the offense was in many ways prehistoric. They led the NBA in two-point attempts and offensive rebounds. Somewhere in the Montana wilderness, Phil Jackson chews a peyote button for breakfast and nods, mindfully.
FTr measures a player’s free throw attempts versus their field goal attempts. This season only two Knicks had a FTr of .400 or better. Any guesses?
The Knicks had 370 slam dunks last year. Exactly half of them were by Mitchell Robinson. Guess who was second? This article is kinda turning into a trivia game. I’m not sorry.
I don’t think of him as a dunker. Ever.
62% of Robinson’s field goals were dunks, easily the highest rate on the team. Of all the Knicks who had at least one dunk, who had the lowest rate, just 0.2%? Hint: it’s not Frank Ntilikina. Hint #2: it’s not a current Knick.
Every Knick made 50% or more of their shots from 0-3 feet. Know who had the worst success rate from close range?
Which Knick had the highest % of his two-pointers assisted by teammates? He also had 100% of his three-pointers assisted. The only three Knicks ever to wear a higher jersey number than his 67 were Andrea Bargnani (77), Baron Davis (85) and Mindaugas Kuzminskas (91).
Which Knick had the lowest % of his two-pointers assisted by teammates? He also had the fewest % of his three-pointers assisted by teammates. The last Knick to wear the number 5 before him was Courtney Lee.
Mitch finished top-five in the league in five categories: field goal %, two-point %, effective field goal %, block % and win shares per 48. Only one other Knick finished top-10 in any category, doing so in assist % and steal %. The last Knick to wear his number 6 was DeAndre Jordan.
In honor of the Big Fella’s birthday, some Patrick Ewing math: while he earned over $100M in his 14 years at MSG, most of that came his last four seasons as a Knick. At age 32, #33 had never made more than $4.4M in a season. This year the Knicks’ top-9 earners all bested that salary. I’m not complaining. All this reflects is that NBA owners make waaaaay more money now than they did 20 years ago.
Hope you liked the numbers. Bye! Have a great time!