The New York Knicks have been the surprise story of the year thus far and it has been great for the NBA and basketball fans around the world. The Knicks are currently 35-28 which makes them the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. With only 9 games left to go in the season the Knicks will in all likelihood make the playoffs, which will make it their first playoff appearance since 2013.
It’s no secret, the Knicks have been the laughing stock of the NBA since then. Bad acquisitions and trades made it seem like the team would continue to be awful for years to come. However, hiring Tom Thibodeau turned out to be a great move for the Knicks. His experience with Derrick Rose and those young Bulls teams along with his short tenure as the Timberwolves head coach proved that although he works his players hard, he gets results and that’s exactly what he’s done for the Knicks.
Players like RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, Reggie Bullock and others have stepped for the Knicks this season and made significant contributions. However, the most impressive Knick has without a doubt been Julius Randle, who’s been averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists this season while leading the league in minutes at 37.5 per game. Randle has always had potential and he really began to show flashes during his time with the Pelicans and in some games with the Knicks, but he has absolutely grown as a player this year and has put together a season to remember. Randle will not only win the NBA’s most improved player award, he will most likely make an All-NBA team which I would argue many never thought he could make.
Having said all that, I believe the Knicks can make it to the second round of the playoffs but not any further. I have high hopes for their future, but as of this season I just do not see them being good enough to beat teams like the Nets, Bucks or 76ers. They will without a doubt put up a good fight against those teams as they are 4th in defensive rating but they are just not equipped with the fire power to beat those teams in a 7 game series.
Despite all that, the New York Knicks are back and when they are good it is incredible for the NBA. Their fans have been starving for a competitive team for 8 years and they finally have one. This is a step in the right direction and I believe if they can continue to show promise, they’ll have a great opportunity to sign a superstar free agent in the next couple of years.
As always don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family and check out our Youtube page for all of our podcasts and videos! This week on the Chtib and Zhang show the guys talk UFC261, the Super League disaster and they discuss a couple potential dark horses in the NBA. Were the Knicks one of them?