The New York Knicks were busy this offseason, completely transforming their roster from the one we saw a season ago.
However while there were decisions to bring in the likes of: Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Pablo Prigioni and Rasheed Wallace, the biggest offseason move could have been one that received very little publicity.
That would be shooting coach Dave Hopla, who the Knicks lured away from Toronto.
Hopla had a reputation as a shooting guru coming into New York, but what he’s done with this team has been outstanding.
Here are the current Knicks’ players shooting percentages last season and what they are shooting now.
J.R. Smith- .407, .347 three-point in 2011-12; .397, .380 in 2012-13
Carmelo Anthony- .430 and .335; .457 and .435
Ronnie Brewer- .427 and .275; .416 and .395
Jason Kidd- .363 and .354; .468 and .483
Raymond Felton- .407 and .305; .418 and .416
That’s just a few examples of the impact Hopla has made in a short time. As a team last year, the Knicks shot 44.3 percent from the floor and that number is slightly up this season to 44.8. But the biggest difference has been in the perimeter shooting. Last year the Knicks shot only 33.6 percent from behind the arc and this year they are knocking them down at a 40.5 percent clip.
These typically aren’t great shooters we are talking about, other than Steve Novak, so a little bit of the credit has to be thrown Hopla’s way.
Certainly it is the players that are getting the job done, but sometimes a little known addition like a quality shooting coach can make all the difference in the world.