New York Knicks Team Previewby Rephael Negnewitzky October 5, 2021 1 comment
The New York Knicks were one of the most surprising teams in the 2020-2021 NBA Season. ESPN projected the Knickerbockers to land in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. They took all the hate and turned it into a spectacular year. Led by All-Star Power Forward Julius Randle, the Knicks completed a 41-31 season and landed the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They faced the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and fell in a devastating 4-1 series loss. The 2020-2021 season was the Knicks’ most successful season since 2012-2013 with Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd. Now, coming into the 2021-2022 NBA season, the Knicks are ready to put up a fight.
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Although the Knicks re-signed All-Star Derrick Rose, they were still in desperate need of a point guard. Nevertheless, they signed former Boston Celtic Kemba Walker to a two-year deal. New York also added Evan Fournier from the Celtics who will be a great addition to the offense. They also re-signed All-Star Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel, and Alec Burks. The Knicks brought in some great young talent in this year’s NBA drafts. From point guard Quentin Grimes to G League Jericho Sims, the Knicks’ future looks very bright.
The Starting Five
PG- Kemba Walker
SG- Evan Fournier
SF- RJ Barrett
PF- Julius Randle
The Knicks have a great outlook on this year’s starting five. They are extremely talented and if guys like Robinson stay healthy, they will play exceptionally well. Although the Knicks added Fournier and Walker, Randle and Barrett still have a big role in the Knicks starting roster. Both Randle and Barrett had a phenomenal 2020 season and in order for the starting five to succeed, the “duo” has to step up. Over this years’ offseason, the Knicks’ big man put on a ton of muscle. Robinson has played extremely well in recent years, and that extra muscle will help him fight for rebounds in the paint.
The Knicks have some great options on the bench coming into this season. With Walker covering the point guard position, the Knicks will have great help from veteran Rose, and second-year Immanuel Quickley to back up the former Celtic. Players like Obi Toppin, Noel, and Taj Gibson coming off the bench can help the Knicks grab more rebounds and help out defensively.
New York has a few more players that the Knickerbockers can rely on to step up coming off the bench. Burks, Dwayne Bacon, and Kevin Knox are players who can add great depth to the young roster. Although the regular season hasn’t started, rookies Grimes, Sims, and Miles McBride were ecstatic in pre-season and could be a great addition for the Knicks in the coming years.
One Potential Move to Make
It’s a long shot, but the Knicks have been eyeing All-Star point guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers for a long time. Since Lillard isn’t hitting free agency until 2025, the Knicks will have to send some of their young talents to Portland in exchange for the former Rookie of the Year. They can send the 2022 first-round pick along with Barrett, Knox, and possibly Burks. It doesn’t seem that the Knicks would trade Randle, but the Blazers might ask for the 26-year-old if the Knicks offer a deal.
It seems as if the Knicks have great potential as they creep towards the incoming season. Although, It may be a challenge for the Knicks as they have to face many talented teams including the All-Star Nets, Trae Young and the Hawks, and Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s definitely worrisome seeing who the Knicks will face, but New York has proven that they can compete with anyone. Tom Thibodeau did a spectacular job coaching the Knicks last season and hopefully, he can lead the Knicks to another playoff season.
Season Prediction: 45-37 and Second Place in Atlantic Division
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