Evan Fournier on Verge of Passing Knicks Legend for Franchise Record

Evan Fournier

Getty New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier taking a three-pointer during a January 28 game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

What’s been lost in the translation of this disappointing New York Knicks season has been the consistency of Evan Fournier.

After signing a four-year, $78-million deal with the club last offseason, he’s attempted a career-high 530 three-pointers this year–and connected on 211 of them.

That equates to a 39% shooting average on the season for Fournier and seven more shots away from making history.

Because point guard John Starks, who spent eight seasons with the team from 1991 to 1998, holds the franchise record for most three-pointers made in a season with 217 in 1994-1995.

With only 11 games left to the 2021-2022 season, should fans expect Fournier to break the record?

His 3.1 made threes per game average would lead most to believe so, a stat that sits at an increased 4.4 nightly over his last five games.

But for Evan Fournier and the New York Knicks, no accolade can overshadow the season’s tailspin below expectations.

Fournier: ‘It’s a Team Sport’

When speaking with the media following practice on March 18, Evan Fournier admitted (via the New York Post) he’d never met John Starks, or even watched those New York Knicks teams:

I’ve heard about him, man. I’ve watched many, many games for sure. But I did not watch growing up that Knick team. I was too young. I was born in 1992. [The record] is cool, especially for a franchise like the Knicks with such a big history and so many great players.

He added that even being close to the record, one that’s held for 27 years, should be a testament to how he adjusted his game for his first year in the Big Apple:

I think it actually says more about the way I was able to adapt, because when you look at the number of 3s that I’ve taken this year, I’ve never played so much behind the 3-point line in my career. And that’s probably why it took me a couple months to figure out what was my role and how I was gonna be able to impact winning and impact the team. Earlier in my career I was much more of a driver.

It’s true, Fournier’s looked and been utilized as a different player than fans have seen in the past.

And it’s exactly what’s lead to his prominent season from three-point land.

Knicks Prioritizing Fournier’s Shooting

There’s no downplaying the emphasis the New York Knicks placed on Evan Fournier the three-point shooter.

Between the contract they gave him last summer, and his shot diet this season, it’s clear what they’re hoping to accomplish when they put him onto the floor.

His 7.7 attempts per game from three-point land this year are comfortably a career-high, and his 4.5 two-point attempts are the lowest mark of his career since his first and second seasons.

And according to the shooting location tracker on his Basketball-Reference page, a whopping 63% of his shot attempts this season are coming from the three-point line or further.

To put that into context, that’s a larger number than Steph Curry, who’s taken 750 shots (61%) from deep this season.

Perhaps the success Fournier’s seen from behind-the-arc this season can be credited to how New York is deploying him, and furthermore, his budding chemistry with Julius Randle:

I’ve built great chemistry with Julius. He really looks for me on those 3s. The first two months of the season, I wasn’t getting the looks that I’m getting now, and it’s definitely because the guys know where I’m comfortable and I know when to expect the ball. And that makes a huge difference because as a guy that has to be efficient with not that many shots, especially on 3s, you gotta know your spots.

According to NBA.com, the guard has been assisted 119 times by Randle this season.

That’s 86 more than the next highest mark, which is the 33 assists he’s received from RJ Barrett.

Nothing about Evan Fournier’s debut campaign should be viewed within the same light as the underwhelming nature of the New York Knicks’ 2021-2022 season.

Especially not when he’s crossing thresholds of legends who walked before him, some 25+ years ago.

Thought that much remains undetermined.

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