The Miami Heat won the title for numerous reasons last year. An obvious reason is that they have the best player on the planet with a chip on their shoulder in LeBron James. They played outstanding defense and rightfully deserved the title. Another reason why they won was their outstanding shooting. Do the New York Knicks have enough shooting to contend with the Heat and the rest of the conference?
Miami shot the ball better than their opponents and was a huge reason why they won. Miami shot 46 percent from the field and 34 percent from three point range during the playoffs. In comparison, opponents shot 43 percent from the field and 30 percent from three against the Heat. It seemed like it was a different hero every night. Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller and Shane Battier all had their nights to shine. They of course have LeBron and Wade to rely on but with the additions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, their shooting advantage may have gotten only stronger.
Shooting can either carry a hot team or be the downfall of them. Take James Harden for example. Harden shot 49 percent from the field and an amazing 60 percent from three in the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs. Harden cooled down and couldn’t get it going shooting 37 percent from the field and a horrible 31 percent from three. Harden is one of the reasons why the Thunder fell flat to the Heat in the Finals.
So do the New York Knicks have enough consistent shooting in order for them to contend?
A year ago, the Knicks ranked 21st in the NBA in three-point shooting, only knocking down 33.6 percent of their attempts and that was with the NBA’s leader in three-point shooting as Steve Novak knocked down 47.2 percent of his long-range attempts.
History shows it’s hard to repeat this success but Novak shouldn’t fall off the planet and will hit his shots. Many things can be said about J.R. Smith but one of them has to be is his love to shoot the ball. When Smith is hot, he is on fire. When he can’t buy a shot he will continuously shoot until he fixes it, which can kill a team in a close playoff series.
None of the guys the Knicks have on their roster from last season or any of the guys they brought in are considered good shooters other than Novak as no one wearing a Knicks’ jersey this season other than Novak can lay claim to knocking down 35 percent or better of the attempts from behind the arc. But while that’s true, the Knicks should be fine shooting the basketball.
Carmelo Anthony will be the Knicks’ best and most consistent shooter. No one is worried about Melo, as other players need to step up and consistently shoot all year and especially in the playoffs. Jason Kidd can hit an open shot with the best of them but Kidd isn’t in a position to create his own shot off the dribble anymore. Felton is a known for his point guard and driving skills. Shumpert has shown he can hit the three, so if he can get a consistent shot going, that is one less thing the Knicks have to worry about from Shump.
The Knicks don’t have any Ray Allen’s, Mike Miller’s, Kyle Korver’s, or deadly shooters on their team. This team will have to figure out scoring options if they want to contend in the East. Carmelo can’t do it all. These shooters have the potential but just have to become consistent. Carmelo will handle the clutch part.