Going into Game Five of their second-round matchup against the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks are shooting 27.8 percent from three in the 2023 NBA playoffs.
This is the worst three-point percentage in a single postseason in NBA playoff history. They are attempting 32.3 threes per game and only hitting 9.1. The raw stats would read New York has hit 73/263 three-pointers these playoffs. There have only been two games they have hit double-digit three-pointers. The first came in the 99-79 Game Three beatdown of the Cleveland Cavaliers when they hit 10/33. The other was when they hit 16/40 threes in the Game Two win against the Heat this series.
I documented a lot of the three-point disaster in my last article, which you can read here.
My plea was for the Knicks to start making open three-pointers. Miami has been giving them open looks and New York just isn't hitting. They actually did do a little better in Game Four and hit 6-12 threes with 4-6 feet of open space. Where they really struggled was when Miami left them completely wide open. In Game Four, with 6+ feet of open space, the Knicks only hit 2-12 three-pointers.
In a playoff series that has been pressed for points, a spark or someone stepping up can really swing a game.
How many times can we mention the Knicks' historically bad shooting in the playoffs before Evan Fournier gets inserted into a game?
Fournier started the 2022-23 season as the starting shooting guard while Quentin Grimes was injured. Once Grimes came back, he seemingly started every game and Fournier has made himself quite comfortable wearing warmup shirts all season.
The stats from this season don’t show much as he only played 27 games and averaged 6.1 points in 17.0 minutes. His crowning moment from this season was the Philadelphia 76ers game in early February. Fournier came off the bench to score 17 points on 5-8 from three in 24 minutes and helped the Knicks win 108-97 in MSG. The Knicks shooting guard electrified the Garden crowd with three three-pointers in the fourth quarter and reminded everyone what he can do when called upon.
The Knicks are down 3-1 in the series, clearly, things haven't been working, and it’s time to try something, anything.
Miami has been more physical, faster to 50/50 balls, and as Julius Randle said, “Maybe they want it more”
It’s desperation time, there’s nothing to lose, and all cards are on the table. Fournier has been a scorer and shooter his whole career, he’s not some big secret the Knicks have hiding on the bench. It’s time to dust him off and see if he can get the crowd behind him and who knows what can happen then.
Let me know in the comments: Do you think Evan Fournier should get a chance? Are you surprised he hasn't gotten any time in the 2023 playoffs? What do you want to see the Knicks do differently?
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