In year two of the New York Knicks rebuild, head coach David Fizdale promises to add more plays to the offense and push the tempo.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Fizdale plans to incorporate more variety in his half-court sets, different variations of screening and, at times, wants to work the ball through the post.
This is in stark contrast to last season, where Fiz chose to employ a basic offensive gameplan so that his young team, which had an average age of 25 and below, would not be so overwhelmed.
With training camp just underway, Fizdale was careful not give any pertinent details about his new and improved offense, yet he did give reporters a general scaffolding on how he wants to play this season.
“I know I want to get the ball over halfcourt quickly,’’ Fizdale said. “I want to get the ball moving. I want a lot of guys involved in the game with the understanding of whoever’s got it going that night, we’ve got to keep that guy going. We’re going to be an attacking team, a team that gets into the paint. We want to be a team that gets to the foul line.”
It might seem like a small tidbit, but prioritizing players that get to the foul line should bode well for Allonzo Trier. Per NBAstats.com, last season Trier recorded the highest free throw frequency out of isolation plays on the team. Trier’s mark was also higher than any of the new players added to the team during the summer.
Breaking down the defense and getting to the line is also going to lead to open three-point shots. Amidst more elaborate half-court sets with different variations in movement, Fizdale also wants his team shooting the three-ball.
“Putting pressure on the rim is the No. 1 priority,’’ Fizdale said. “I think that’s what creates everything else. We got more 3-point shooting, so I expect us to maybe shoot a few more 3s and make a few more. But if guys have good pull-up jump shots, I want them shooting that shot with confidence if they’re open.”
Last season the Knicks were towards the bottom of the league in both three-point attempts and three-point percentage. Adding Wayne Ellington, a career 37 percent shooter from three, and Bobby Portis, a career 39 percent shooter, will definitely help in this area.
Overall, it’s early in training camp and talk is cheap. However, it is promising to see the Knicks, at least in theory, work on their weaknesses in preparation for the new season. Whether it works out or not, only time will tell.