When the 2023-24 season begins, the goal for Knicks It will be the same that was entered every year Leon Rose Evening: Go to the playoffs and go as far as possible. While the team pursues that ultimate goal of winning a championship, it will not be achieved without strong individual performances from each member of the team.
Any of New York’s players can swing a series or an entire season, so whoever steps into their role will be vital.
Here’s one goal every rotation piece should strive to achieve this season…
Mitchell Robinson: Shoot at your peak from the free throw line
Robinson had a career year last season, staying relatively healthy and establishing himself as one of the league’s best defenders and rebounders in the starting five. Unfortunately, he still fought hard for charity, which has plagued him throughout his five-year tenure.
Shooting a hit clip from there seems like a great ask, but that only calls into question his 60 percent mark as a rookie. He shot under 50 percent over the last three seasons, so any kind of improvement would help a lot.
Julius Randle: Keep your head straight
There aren’t many players who can stop Randle when he’s playing, but one player who has had a lot of success in his career has been himself. Randle feeds off emotions and cares deeply about winning, but sometimes these come out in counterproductive ways.
As with any season, Randle will face shooting slumps, bad officiating and disagreements with his teammates. Tempering his emotions and keeping those friction points at bay could lead to Randle’s best year ever, just like last season and 2021.
Quentin Grimes: Improved stretch shooting
In his sophomore season, Grimes emerged as a three-dimensional, reliable starter-quality wing, killing spot-up looks and guarding the opposition’s best scorer on a nightly basis. He even evolved inside the arc, creating more finishes and assists.
The next step in his development should be hitting more of his outside jumpers, where he hit just 16.7 percent from two and 29.1 percent from three last year. The ability to score against a crumbling defense elevates his game and the team’s offensive attack to new heights.
RJ Barrett : Finish with a real professional shooting percentage
While he’s still very young and developing every year, it’s no question that Barrett will be crucial to the Knicks’ success and one of the team’s primary bucket scorers. His subject has done this very well on all levels.
This is the year he will peak, just like he did in the 2023 season and the FIBA World Cup. He has yet to shoot 45 percent from the field and has only shot 35 percent once, setting the stage for what should be a Portuguese season from an efficiency standpoint.
Jalen Branson: Increase the usage percentage to 30%
There’s no reason Brunson should be the team’s only secondary creator statistically. Randle finished more of his team’s offensive possessions despite being a less efficient and more lethal option.
Brunson needs some energy to pass me the ball and get away befitting of someone who smokes an NBA Finals team to score 70 points in back-to-back playoff games. Whether it’s scoring or assists, it hardly matters, but the ball should be in the hands of the best player more often.
Emanuel Quickley: Four-plus free throw attempts in one night
The IQ error often comes in bursts, and the difference in his jump shooting is made up for by crazy warmups. A quick way for him to become more consistent is to get easy points from the foul line, where he used to live much more.
As a rookie, he had a 30 percent free throw rate that has declined each year, in part due to the suppression of foul plays. However, as he’s getting more penetration and increasing power, this could be a simple way to increase his efficiency while still sticking to his game.
Josh Hart: Three shots
Hart just needs to hit three. They don’t even need to log in. But as long as he’s making big plays, where defenses simply ignore him, he should make them think about it — just a little.
Donte di Vincenzo: Knockdown 40% of your triple
DiVincenzo fits the blue and orange in many ways this season and will contribute a lot, but the main reason he was signed is what he brings from behind the arc. He’s shooting 36.2% from deep for his career, 39.7% last year, and hopefully he’ll bring those stats to New York.
Isaiah Hartenstein: Keep the turnover ratio at two
Hartenstein’s lack of offense — a strong pass from the center spot — must be lamented by the staff, but even with fewer chances to create last season, Hartenstein turned it over at a higher rate. Making those mistakes harder to make in favor of accurate passes and deep exits that the Knicks turn into easy points will be a key factor in his season.