The Knicks are faced with a significant financial choice ahead, following…

The Knicks are faced with a significant financial choice ahead, following…

Over the last 17 games of the season, the New York Knicks have embarked on a 15-2 run (have won nine straight) and not by coincidence. This impressive turn of events has led the Knicks to produce a 32-17 record as they sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, only five games out of first.

This exciting run, uniquely enough, began on New Year’s Day. But the most fascinating wrinkle of all comes down to the fact that on December 30, 2023, the Knicks traded for former Toronto Raptors small forward OG Anunoby, sparking an intriguing notion that just maybe this trade was the difference maker the Knicks were looking for all along.

In the 14 games Anunoby’s started (averaging 35.7 minutes), he’s posting 15.6 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks while shooting a career-high 51.6% from the field. Though some might think Anunoby and former Knicks forward RJ Barrett are similar players (seeing they swapped teams following the trade), they are actually quite different. In fact, their own unique differences in talent have played a major role in why the Knicks have thrived throughout the month of January.

If you look closely at the numbers between Barrett and Anunoby, there are two glaring differences between the two, and the Knicks have benefited tremendously from the latter’s skillset. The first distinction is that Anunoby brings a much higher efficiency level from the field than Barrett has over his career while also taking fewer shots per game.

While Anunoby has a 47.5 career field goal percentage, Barrett’s career average is significantly lower at 42.8%. And over the 2023-24 season so far, Anunoby averages 11.7 field goal attempts per game while Barrett averages 14.8 (and in previous seasons, it has been higher). Uncannily enough, Barrett is now shooting 55% from the field ever since he became a Raptor. But over four and a half years as a Knick, Barrett didn’t have a single season where he shot over 45% from the field.

The Knicks Are a Better Team with OG Anunoby

With Anunoby now a Knick, scorers like Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and even shooting specialists like Donte DiVincenzo and Quentin Grimes can receive more opportunities to put points on the board. While at the same time, the team has a much more efficient scoring outlet that will make the most of his shot attempts in Anunoby.

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