The Knicks are utilizing advanced statistics and analytics more under president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, and hired someone to work deeper with statistics, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.
"I'm not sure we're [utilizing advanced statistics] as much as other teams, but I'm sure we're more than other teams," head coach Jeff Hornacek told Berman. "I heard some organizations, you can develop draft picks and starting lineups just looking at analytics."
As opposed to the eye tests, advanced statistics break down each player's effectiveness on the court in various situations and can help coaches determine game strategies.
"All those numbers, you're out there with five guys. One guy's numbers might not be great but it might not be him," Hornacek said to Berman. "Analytics are good to look at and analyze things, but sometimes it can throw some confusion in there. I was an accounting major. You make the numbers look the way you want sometimes."
Hornacek told Berman that the Knicks tend to break down how effecient their pick-and-roll is. When the Knicks utilized Phil Jackson's triangle offense last season, they focused more on mid-range jumpers as opposed to the pick-and-roll.
"We have internal stuff -- points per possession is always a good one on what you're getting out of that pick and roll,'' Hornacek said to Berman. "A lot of times you look at it, we run the pick and roll and getting 1.1 points per possession, but when with the point guard, we're scoring 0.9. But when he hits the roller, we're scoring 1.3. You find those trends. That will be a bigger trend for us is playing out of the roller."
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The Knicks could use whatever help they can get, and if analytics will make a difference then dive into it. There are too many statistics today, and it's hard to follow all the numbers. For some teams, it does work though. They can dive as deep as they want into some of these offensive numbers and pick-and-roll analytics, but there needs to be a look at some defensive stats.
New York's defense does not look good, and that is going to be what everything can come down to. The Knicks have some guys who can put the ball in the hoop, but seeing the Knicks give up fewer than 100 points a night is looking bleak. If they can keep teams under 100, they have a shot to win some games, but that has yet to be seen. I don't think the analytics will make a huge difference and it shouldn't be Hornacek's main focus, but it's good to keep on the back of the mind. A lot of teams use this these days, and it's nice to see the Knicks be proactive.