Offensive rating is the neat way of saying "points scored per 100 possessions." The reason it can be more useful than raw points per game is that it adjusts for pace -- a crucial element in defining efficiency. Teams that play fast may score more than teams that play slower, but we want to know which teams make the most of each possession.
The Knicks finished third in the league this season in Offensive Rating, scoring an outstanding 108.6 points per 100 possessions. Coming into the season, some thought that New York would be more of a defense-oriented squad, but the super efficient offense that Mike Woodson designed deserves more of the credit for its 54 regular season wins.
New York built its offensive attack around Carmelo Anthony, the star scorer, and shot more threes than any other team in basketball (more on this in a bit). Though Anthony had the best offensive season of his career (also more on this in a bit), the Knicks' offensive success was a team effort.
Tyson Chandler, not only the team's defensive anchor, but the collapsing roll man (important) in their spread pick-and-roll attack, led the NBA in True Shooting percentage at 67.1%. Point guard Raymond Felton performed well in his second go-around in New York city, piloting the Knicks with great efficiency. Felton turned the ball over just 2.4 times per 36 minutes (this is good). J.R. Smith won Sixth Man of the Year, in large part due to a late season run of efficient play not seen before in his career. Iman Shumpert hit over 40% of his threes for the season and Jason Kidd played stretches of shear brilliance as a spot-up 2-guard.
Overall, it was a team effort for the league's third-best offense. More importantly, the formula for success is one the Knicks can continue to use moving forward. Anthony, Felton and Chandler aren't going anywhere, Shumpert's offensive game will only improve, and New York should be able to find shooters to fit their system to replace the guys they may lose.
Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBA