The New York Knicks have signed small forward Troy Williams for the rest of this season with a partial guarantee for next season as well.
The Knicks have outscored opponents by 7.2 points per 100 possessions when he has appeared on the court with Trey Burke, Frank Ntilikina, Kyle O’Quinn and Lance Thomas. This has been their best overall five-man lineup (minimum: 25 minutes) that does not contain Kristaps Porzingis.
One reason he earned a spot with the squad is how he helps their transition offense. Only two teams in the Eastern Conference have scored fewer points per game in transition (14.3) than New York, which is where Williams has excelled since college.
Yogi Ferrell, now on the Dallas Mavericks, spoke about Williams in transition when they were collegiate teammates (via IUHoosiers.com):
“He has got to get out and run more, because when that happens, you see just like today, layups, anything he wants. He’s too athletic and nobody can stop him.”
Williams has been excellent on these plays, shooting 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) since he joined the squad earlier this season. He has scored 1.43 points per possession in the open court, which ranks No. 11 overall among those who have recorded at least 15 transition possessions.
He was also good in transition while with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, averaging 1.14 PPP. As a ballhandler on this play type, he shot 8-of-11 (72.0 percent) for Memphis. This ranked No. 10 overall among those who had at least 18 possessions.
Williams has looked great on shots near the rim shooting 20-for-28 (71.4 percent) on field goal attempts within five feet of the basket.
But no team in the East has run spot-up possessions less often than the Knicks (16.6 percent) so far this season. Since he originally signed with New York, the forward has been very good in these situations as well.
The 23-year-old has been solid on catch-and-shoot attempts (35.7 percent) from long distance. If he keeps that up or improves that accuracy, it will be a huge help for the Knicks’ offense considering they have the fewest three-pointers made in the NBA.