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Knicks’ scoring and shooting soaring at the start of the year’s final month

Close the year strong.

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks have gone 2-2 in four games this December. Both wins have come against the Toronto Raptors, while the losses were to the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

A 2-2 record may not sound all that exciting, but offensively, there are things to note.

Scoring the basketball for the Knicks this season hasn’t been their strong suit. In four October games, they were 20th in scoring (106.5), dead last in field goal percentage (41.3%), and 25th in free throw percentage (70.1%).

Then in the 11 November games, New York was 25th in points per game (111.6), 26th in field goal percentage (45.1%), and 27th in free throw percentage (74.3%). The Knicks still managed an impressive 9-5 record in November.

For the season, they sit tied for 19th in scoring (113.1), 24th in field goal percentage (45.7%), and 28th in free throw percentage (74.2%).

They have been a good three-point shooting team this season, but that still only makes up around 36 percent of their total points this season.


In December, New York is averaging 125.0 points and shooting 52.4 percent on field goal attempts. Those numbers are good enough for fourth and third in the NBA this month. Free-throw shooting still isn’t great, but it’s been improved. The Knicks are shooting 77.8 percent from the line and are tied for eighth in attempts per game. They are also third in true shooting percentage, hitting 63.4 percent of their shots.

Second-chance points remain a strong priority for Tom Thibodeau’s team. Last season, they finished third in the NBA in second-chance points. This season, they are third in the NBA in that category and fifth in December.

Their points in the paint have seen a nice uptick. In December, the Knicks are 12th in PITP, scoring 53.5 points per game. For the season, they are 25th and only average 45.5 points. Improving points in the paint would be huge for this team, which has pretty consistently made the three-ball work.

The Knicks are dead last in defensive rating for December, but that’s not where they will finish the month. This team is in the top ten in defensive rating for the season.

Top performers:

Julius Randle has led the Knicks this month, averaging 28.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. The Knicks forward also has 61.4/53.8/84.6 shooting splits.

Josh Hart is having a nice month. He’s averaging 12.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.0 steals. Hart is 9/11 (81.8%) from three and hitting 64.5 percent of his field goals to start the month.

Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett have also continued their strong play this season.

This is just an early December check-in; we’ll be back later this month to see how everything is looking.

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