A Slow Start to the Season
By: Danny Cacace
This came to be after just losing to Jayson Tatum hitting a deep two pointer just before the buzzer for his team, the Boston Celtics.
The New York Knicks have been the laughing stock of the NBA for about the past 20 years now. Sooner or later, one would think they might turn it around, but with the Knicks that just has not been the case as of yet.
This team, I believe should be projected to make the playoffs this season, especially in the Eastern Conference which has gotten significantly weaker. I would think they’ll be able to win around 35-40 games which is possible with the team they assembled this off-season.
In this off-season, some things went well for the Knicks, and some things did not go their way. Starting with the NBA draft, in the middle of May when the playoffs are already in session, there is an event called the NBA draft lottery where teams get to randomly selected by lottery balls to be a certain pick based off how many wins/losses the team had in the regular season.
Now, the lowest seed which were the Knicks would get a 25% chance at winning the lottery and be able to be the #1 pick in the draft, but unfortunately they did not get that pick.
However, the Knicks did strike gold and still were able to get the #3 pick in the draft which is still pretty good. In the NBA Draft, the Knicks were expected to get Duke’s star prospect who played with Zion Williamson who was another top Duke star prospect who was the #1 pick in the draft, the New Orleans Pelicans; and the Knicks did end up on selecting Barrett in the draft.
This excited millions of Knicks fans around the world because the Knicks finally selected a player coming out of the draft fans knew they can rely on right away.
NBA free agency was also another big turning point for the Knicks and how the future of their franchise would turn out. Free agency was a mixed bag for myself and I’m sure other Knicks fans as well this off-season.
A lot of assumptions have been brought upon the Knicks since they had a lot of money in cap space and were about to sign two max contract players that they were going to get top tier free agents such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Kevin Durant played for the Golden State Warriors last season and tore his Achilles in the NBA Finals last season against the Toronto Raptors and will most likely miss the entire NBA season due to that injury. Kyrie Irving played for the Boston Celtics last season where their season was just a whole lot of ups and downs starting with Irving himself.
At the end, the Knicks weren’t able to sign either of them and they went to the other borough in New York, the Brooklyn Nets.
Nonetheless, hope was not lost. Even though, they didn’t get the guys that they wanted and planned on getting, they got guys who can be reliable enough to fight for a spot in the playoffs.
I believe getting a guy like Julius Randle who is a young power forward that has the potential to carry the offense and have a breakout season for us and lead this team into the playoffs. I think obtaining small forward/power forward Marcus Morris is another solid move for the Knicks who is a seasoned veteran and has the ability to be Randle’s right hand man in scoring and be a vocal leader to motivate the guys on and off the court.
R.J.Barrett was of course a great addition to the team, he actually leads the team in scoring right now and is a 19 year old rookie. I don’t think I have to emphasize that anymore.
Other guys like Taj Gibson is a veteran power forward who can bring that vocal leadership off the bench and Wayne Ellington is a shooting guard that can bring that three point shooting ability to the Knicks when the Knicks need a three pointer to pick up the offense. Bobby Portis is a center who can be a solid back up to Mitchell Robinson and be able to bring that offense the bench while Robinson handles the defense side of things when he starts.
This team has the chance to be in the playoffs once they start picking things up which I believe should happen sooner rather than later, and be able to be a six to eight seed team in the Eastern Conference.