The New York Knicks are overhauling their offense, which includes every position, including center, after flaming out prematurely in the playoffs last season. They’re also quite versatile at the position, with Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel being the main players.
Neither player is particularly similar in either aspect of the game, but it appears that the latter is attempting to distinguish himself from his competitors for the starting job.
Noel told reporters on September 28th that the Knicks’ coaching staff has asked him to work on his corner three:
Noel has attempted only 10 three-point shots in his seven NBA seasons. And he only made two of them, one with the Philadelphia 76ers and the other with the Oklahoma City Thunder. One was made from above the break (2016), but his most recent make (2020) came from the left corner of the floor. Can the eighth-year big man improve enough to match his career total from deep next season?
Can the eighth-year big man improve enough to match his career total from deep next season? And why is the New York Knicks tasked with a three-point shot right now?
A Center Position Has Evolved
Almost none of the NBA’s 16 playoff teams from last season have a three-point shooting center. The 2021 champion Milwaukee Bucks, on the other hand, have one of the league’s best three-point shooters in Brook Lopez, who shot 34% last season. Last season, the New York Knicks were outclassed by the Atlanta Hawks defense, or more accurately, their own offensive ineptitude. They scored 97 points per game, which was the lowest in the league.
It’s not impossible to believe that a healthy Mitchell Robinson or a capable floor-spacing threat at the five could have changed the outcome of the series. The Knicks are preparing to be able to roll out either..
In order to close any room for error, the Knicks are preparing to be able to roll out either.
Robinson is recovering from an injury, and Noel’s aforementioned offensive development is still a work in progress.
Whoever makes the most progress will likely be the starting lineup for the New York Knicks at the end of the season.
Noel, Robinson to Compete for Starting Job
Nerlens Noel’s return to the New York Knicks, especially on such a lucrative contract, surprised some.
Within days of free agency beginning, the 27-year-old signed a three-year deal worth $32 million.
When he was brought in on a one-year deal last year, he was supposed to be Mitchell Robinson’s backup. The dynamic has shifted after ending last season as the only player to average 2+ blocks and 1+ steals per game.
And that much is clear thanks to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who clarified the terms of his re-signing:
In bringing Nerlens Noel back, I was told Nerlens wasn’t promised the starting center spot, but he’ll have a chance to compete for it, and he’ll definitely play meaningful minutes in New York’s rotation.
This helps to clarify exactly what each side was thinking and reinforces that Noel’s contract was mutually beneficial. The training camp for
has begun. The season for 2021-2022 will begin in 22 days. And the starting center position for the New York Knicks has yet to be determined. Kemba Walker Reveals ‘Biggest’ Reason He Came to Knicks
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