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Monday, November 19, 2012
Inside the Knumbers: Knicks' 7-1 start

By Mark Simon


Each week throughout the season, we'll take a closer look at the Knicks' performance from both a statistical and analytical perspective, with help from tools such as Basketball-Reference.com.

Elias Stat of the Week
The Knicks are 4-0 at home and all four of their wins have come by double figures.

It’s the first time in Knicks history that they’ve opened a season with four straight wins at home, all by double figures.

The 6-0 start to the season was the second-best in Knicks history, topped only by the 1993-94 team’s 7-0 start.

The Knicks best “and-1” start will be a tough mark to catch. At 7-1, they are 16 wins away.

After starting 5-0 in the 1969-70 season, the Knicks lost to the San Francisco Warriors, than ran off 18 straight wins for a 23-1 start en route to an NBA title.

What the shot chart shows
Atop this article is a look at Carmelo Anthony’s shooting by location over the first eight games of the season.

What will be interesting to watch will be Anthony’s effectiveness on those mid-range jumpers from the right side of the floor and from the foul line.

Last season, Anthony shot 37 percent on that combination of shots, which he took at a rate of about five per game. Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry noted in an article written prior to the season that Anthony’s success rate on those shots had dropped notably from earlier in his career.

This season, Anthony is taking those shots about the same amount, but has shot the ball well … so far (and these are all small samples), making 19 of his 34 attempts from the field (56 percent). That has offset some inconsistency in the paint, where Anthony, who typically shoots in the mid 50s inside, is shooting 46 percent.

Most effective combinations
Among the statistical goodness on Basketball-Reference.com is a stat-by-stat look at every combination a team puts on the floor.

From that we can glean that the best Knicks unit (among the eight that have been on the floor for at least 10 minutes together) is the Felton-Kidd-Smith-Anthony-Chandler grouping. That fivesome has outscored opponents at a rate of +33.3 points per 100 possessions and has outshot its opponents from the field by a whopping 17 percent.

Numbers of Note
Thursday’s win: The Knicks made 11-of-their-last-15 shots from the field in rallying for a 104-100 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

That was quite a contrast to the Knicks' 16-for-51 shooting over the nearly 29 minute stretch prior to that success.

The win was the Knicks' first in San Antonio since March 18, 2003.

The Spurs are 14-3 against the Knicks in San Antonio in the Tim Duncan era, including two wins in the NBA Finals.

The Knicks also held Tony Parker to 7-for-20 shooting from the field.

That was Parker's second-worst shooting effort in any of the 18 games he's played against the Knicks in his career.

Sunday’s win: Shooting 36.7 percent from the field and 28 percent from the 3-point line isn’t typically a means by which the Knicks win.

But they’ve won two games with numbers that low in the last eight months, beating the Milwaukee Bucks in March and the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Prior to those two wins, the Knicks had lost their previous 50 games when failing to hit those benchmarks, last winning against the Boston Celtics in November, 1992.