Its been a long time since the New York Knicks were a Championship winning team. Its been 50 years since their last Championship, 1973, and their only prior to that coming in 1970.
This season is only the second time in the past 10 seasons that the Knicks have made it to the playoff rounds, and this now makes it six from the last 20.
With their recent history, they were mostly written off when the season began by fans and media analysts. They were considered just another Knicks side who would be just another number in a season where other teams and players would shine.
But this Knicks took us all by surprise and found their way into the playoffs this season with some exciting, consistent play which filled Maddison Square Garden with every match.
There was little action on them reaching the playoffs with sportsbooks at the start of the year but with the playoffs in full swing the most current NBA Championship odds you can find are available to you with the season coming to an end.
The Right Coach
From 2010 through to 2020, the Knicks had hired seven different head coaches and five different heads of basketball operations which has caused continuous turnover and a lack of a distinct plan.
Tom Thibodeau arrived after being a hard-charging defensive coordinator turned successful head coach at the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks had struggled to build a half-way decent defense in years and Thibodeau was seen as the right head coach to help rejuvenate and reinvigorate that position.
Thibodeau arrived in 2020 and had a great first season though it some snags in year two which added doubt in the media and amongst the fans going into 2023.
It has started a little lethargic this season, but things really started to improve come late November and the Knicks rode this run all the way into the playoffs.
Thibodeau had worked on the roster and slimmed things down to a nine-man rotation and not playing his worst performing defensive players. Those who Thibodeau thought had earned their places, like backup point guard Miles McBride and Immanuel Quickly were given their shot and performed well when called upon.
Returning from injury
The beginning of the season saw Quintin Grimes dealing with a left-foot injury and left him watching the opening month of the season. Grimes is valued highly by the New York Knicks and ended the regular season with an average of 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assist per game.
He looks to be progressing well in the team, and while his stats may not stand out over others in his position, Grimes is a key figure in the future of the Knicks and is still very early in his career having been drafted in the first-round of the 2021 NBA Draft.
Grimes especially showed how important he can be in clutch time, where in February his stats were 13/23 for Field Goals and 9/18 for three-point shots. He bring defensive grit to his performances and this is exactly what New York Knicks fans have been calling out for.
Julius Randle had a remarkable regular season. In 64 games he averaged 25 pints, 10.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists. His offensive stats were fantastic and helped propel his side into the playoffs, while the defensive side of his game was also greatly improved.
While Randle isn’t going to win any individual awards for his defensive displays, he is playing at a level which alongside his teammates, ensures the Knicks have been playing to the standards they are setting off the ball.
Randle made his second All-Star Game of his career in 2023 and has been performing higher than his breakout 2020/21 season.
Jalen Brunson may not be a star on the defensive side of the game, but he has not been a liability, but he has been an absolute stud on offense. He averaged 24 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game in the regular season and was the Knicks most dynamic and dangerous theat.
Looking to 2023/24
The Knicks are full of assets in a crowded roster which could be used to bring in a big name for the 2023/24 season should one become available.
Reports have suggested the Knicks are closely monitoring the possibility that two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo may be keen to leave the Milwaukee Bucks. This may be wishful thinking right now, but with Randle and Brunson in their peak years, they will be looking to add top level talent to make 2023/24 a Championship contending roster.
While a championship may not be on the cards this season, their improvements have been something to right home about. Some more consistency in coaching, a clear philosophy and a hard-working side look to have got the Knicks back on the right path.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|