An addition from the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2015, O’Quinn has grown steadily with this team.
Nov 10, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) listens to forward Kyle O Quinn (9) against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Knicks beat the Raptors 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
In fact, it’s getting to the stage now where the Knicks should seriously consider starting this guy full time.
The basic numbers may not support that view wholeheartedly, but if you look beyond those and compare them to his teammates, it’s clear he should be getting more minutes.
This starts with his Player Efficiency Rating, which right now is 20.1–by far a career high and also well above the league average of 15.
Even more impressive, however, is how that is the highest mark on this Knicks team. This is crazy to consider when you think of the other, bigger names on this team.
O’Quinn has achieved this by being efficient with his time on the court and making an impact on the defensive end.
*whispers* I have mostly positive stuff to say about Kyle O’Quinn over the last few games.
His defensive plus/minus of 2.7 is the best it’s been in three years, although it still lags behind Noah’s impressive 3.2 rating in that category.
Offensively his plus/minus currently sits at 0.7, the first time in his career that O’Quinn has posted a positive number in this category.
It’s also higher than Noah’s 0.2, although neither is in the team to score points.
Any extra attacking options a team can conjure up are nice however, and O’Quinn is also averaging more points per game (5.7) than Noah (4.3).
This is despite Noah playing seven extra minutes per game so far (21.7 compared to the 14.7 of O’Quinn).
The temptation then would be to leave O’Quinn where he is. He’s been effective with his limited court time (career-high 57.7 percent effective field goal percentage) and anchoring the second unit well.
But if he was given a starting role, the numbers would suggest he would build upon this bright start to the season.
Part of that requirement is rallying the troops to try and chase a lost cause and at least remain competitive even when the game is beyond them.
O’Quinn posted a plus/minus of plus-4 for that game. Noah? He finished up with minus-29.
It’s also telling that O’Quinn played more minutes in that game (20) than Noah did (15). This is likely a result of the starters being benched as the game slipped away.
But it also shows that when called upon, and no matter how bad the deficit, O’Quinn shows up and gives all he can for the cause.
The Knicks are currently allowing 107.2 points to be scored on them each game, the 25th-worst mark in the league.
They are 26th in three-pointers percentage against them each night (36.6 percent). Would inserting O’Quinn into the starting lineup alleviate all of those problems?
Oct 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kyle O’Quinn (9) looks to pass as Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) defends during the second quarterat Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
No, but with the team being one of the worst defensive units in the league, it’s got to be worth a look, hasn’t it?
It’s unlikely given that Noah only signed a four-year, $72 million deal this summer.