New York Knicks: Elfrid Payton has had a positive impact on the team

Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

In his first season with the New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton has proved why the team should keep him as their starting point guard long-term.

In his twenty-seven games as a starter for the New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton has averaged 10.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.7 steals. Additionally, he is 43.4 percent from the field, 23.9 percent from beyond the arc, and fifty-percent from the line, in 29.7 minutes per game.

While his shooting numbers are less than impressive, he has been the most impactive point guard on the New York Knicks roster this season. Since Payton’s return to the starting lineup, the Knicks have gone 10-17. While the record isn’t that great, it still shows slightly more positive results in comparison to what the Knicks record was before he returned from injury or wasn’t in the starting lineup, which was 7-21.

Right before the All-Star break, NYK won three straight games for the first time this season. While that may not be considered a turning point this year, the Knicks will finish with a better record than last year. They have already matched their win total from last season (17-65).

Keep in mind that the Knicks earned their seventeenth win last season in their eighty-first game, in comparison to reaching that win total right before All-Star break.

Elfrid Payton’s future

Payton has been one of the few bright spots of the Knicks season, he isn’t your typical star point guard that’ll average twenty points, ten assists, and shoot the lights out in most games.

What he provides is a fearless level of play that the other point guards on the roster fail to provide on a consistent basis. One important stat to mention is that Payton has a great eye for stealing the ball, as he is currently on a thirteen-game streak of recording at least one steal, including a career-high seven steals in a win against the Orlando Magic.

Another aspect of Payton’s game that has been positive for the Knicks is his all-around style, as he joined some impressive company last season with the New Orleans Pelicans when he recorded five-straight triple-doubles. This season, however, he has only recorded one triple-double.

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Furthermore, the Knicks are surprisingly only seven games behind the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic and have been the third-worst team in the Eastern Conference,  which will make quite an interesting story if they are able to make a run for a playoff spot this season.

Since the playoffs are not out of reach, Payton will certainly continue to make his case to be permanently involved in the Knicks’ long-term plans.

At only twenty-five years old, Payton has plenty of time to continue growing as he will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. If the Knicks can continue trusting in him to run the offense and allow the sixth year player to expand his skill set, Payton can be considered among the NBA’s best point guards in a couple of seasons.

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