The Knicks have been busy this offseason, working out with trainers and former players to get ready for an enticing 2023-24 NBA campaign.
While New York may have exceeded expectations this season, they certainly believe that there is still work to do. Over this summer, the non-FIBA Knicks have been getting in the gym, getting up shots, playing in exhibitions along with pro-ams, and generally playing basketball wherever they can in preparation to run it back this season. After all, in their Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat in the Conference Semifinals, Jalen Brunson was the only player with more than 20 points (he finished the game with 41). The rest of the squad undoubtedly recognized what they needed to do to take the next step.
It’s really great to see the Knicks work out with players who fit their play type, to a certain extent. Take Immanuel Quickley for example. Earlier this summer, he had the opportunity to work with 10-year NBA veteran Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who was known for his play on both sides of the floor, and most importantly, his high-volume three-point shooting over his career.
Immanuel Quickley training with Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf pic.twitter.com/xXEivSvyyn
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) August 25, 2023
For Quickley, three-point shooting became a lingering issue toward the end of his third year in the league. After shooting 37% from behind the arc during the regular season where he finished 2nd in Sixth Man of the Year voting, his shot percentage fell dramatically to 24.3%, a huge dip for himself and the team as they tried to even the series against the Heat. Fortunately for Quickley, he seems to have learned from his mistakes in the past. Working with one of the better three-point shooters from his respective era puts Quickley in a great position going forward, considering Quickley and Abdul-Rauf show similarities in their games in terms of their shooting from distance, shifty handles, change of pace, and perimeter defense.
Quentin Grimes was another player we saw get busy this offseason, whether it was playing in runs at the University of Houston, or being coached up by the likes of JJ Redick and Penny Hardaway, who each made lasting impacts on the league over the years. It seemed like he was a gym rat all summer long. Similar to Quickley, Grimes struggled in the playoffs when it came to three-point percentages, and it really killed all the team play they had in the playoffs, leaving Jalen Brunson to do all the work.
Quentin Grimes working with Penny Hardaway
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) August 22, 2023
By working with a profound shooter in Redick, Grimes will be able to put himself in better positions for himself and his teammates to score, which intertwines with his work with Hardaway. With Hardaway being more of a downhill player, QDot is really getting the best of both worlds here, polishing both his outside and inside game to make himself more of a weapon going forward.
Even if it wasn’t publicly known if a Knicks player was working out with a trainer or former player, they still got busy. Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, RJ Barrett and Evan Fournier are all making their marks on their respective international teams as they all fight for a shot at the FIBA World Cup. Julius Randle is looking great, too, as he got some good-looking shots up on Instagram Live:
Julius Randle giving us a peak into his basketball workout with his trainer. He was shooting about 20 3s a minute for almost 20 minutes. Practicing C&S 3s when fatigued. pic.twitter.com/hHDSKwpDPX
— Playoff P Basketball (@playoffpbball) September 3, 2023
It may just be summer workouts, but for a team that didn’t retool much this offseason outside of bringing in Donte DiVincenzo and letting Obi Toppin go, this is a very encouraging sign of what is to come this season. With another year of experience along with another NBA offseason, the Knicks will be looking extremely dangerous in a competitive Eastern Conference where they’ll look to make their mark.