July 13, 2024

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A New York Knicks Site Guaranteed To Make ‘Em Jump

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Brunson averaged 32.4 points per game, also good for second behind Embiid. That’s a fantastic number, but the shooting splits leave room for growth. Brunson shot just 44/31/78 figures during the playoff run. It took him 26 shots a night to get those 32 points. The playoff run was both a superstar turn and a war of attrition.

Not all shots are created equally, and how Brunson got his offense is worth studying. According to the NBA’s play type data, Brunson got nearly 75% of his playoff offense from three play types: isolation (23.2%), handoffs (9.9%), and pick-and-roll ball handler (40.4%). Brunson had a weighted average of 0.94 points per possession (PPP) across those three play types for two rounds of playoff basketball. Brunson’s ideal offensive teammate would be a player who got a large portion of their offense from complimentary play types. Brunson would work well with players where cuts, spot-ups, and rolls heavily comprise their offensive arsenal. 

Not only were there patterns in Brunson’s shot diet throughout the playoffs, but there was consistency in where he generated shots for others on the floor. Brunson had 97 total assists across 13 playoff games. Of those assists, 42% came in the paint/restricted area, and 34% came via above-the-break threes. 

Combining play type and court locations traces the profile of Brunson’s ideal offensive running mate. A player who gets a bulk of their offensive from cutting, rolling, and spotting up, who also shot efficiently from the paint and above the break, would excel playing next to Brunson and his particular creation style.

Before we look around the league at great potential fits, let’s discuss who Brunson already has in New York and how they fit.

How current Knicks fit the mold

I’m not a compliment sandwich guy. It couches the feedback people need to hear between two pieces of fluff, and that good stuff is usually what they remember and not the necessary areas for growth. So let’s just rip the band-aid off now. One of the best fits next to Brunson just walked out the door. 

Isaiah Hartenstein got over 50% of his offense from Brunson’s three complimentary play types and scored an efficient 1.24 PPP on them. On top of that, his true shooting percentage in both the restricted area and the paint was above league average. Losing that offensive fit hurts because no other Knick had his combination of volume across all three play types and efficiency last year.

Here’s how other current Knicks fared:

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