2018-2019 Off the Glass Team Preview Series: New York Knicks
New York Post
The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the New York Knicks.
29-53, 4th in the Atlantic Division.
The Knicks weren’t that good last year, and that was before they lost Kristaps Porzingis for the season. They went 6-31 after Porzingis went down, but unfortunately won too many games before that to properly tank. Jeff Hornacek lost another locker room. I hear that CPS is threatening to take locker rooms away from him forever.
There were a few bright spots, though. Frank Ntilikina proved himself to be one of the game’s top perimeter defenders, Enes Kanter trolled half the league, and Michael Beasley made himself useful enough to convince the Los Angeles Lakers to let him play with LeBron James.
Joakim Noah’s corpse (C); Michael Beasley (SF/PF); Kyle O’Quinn (PF)
David Fizdale (Coach); Kevin Knox (SF); Mario Hezonja (SG)
Player to Watch:
Kevin Knox (SF)
After years of dysfunction, the Knicks finally have some semblance of a future. Knicks GM, Scott Perry, has quietly been building a solid core around his young superstar. He drafted Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson who both looked very impressive in Las Vegas Summer League. He signed a couple of low-risk, high-reward players in Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh. And, it looks like he will clear Joakim Noah’s albatross of a contract before the season starts. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such competence from the Knicks’ front office.
The future of the franchise still depends on the left knee of Kristaps Porzingis, so that should be their main priority. Even if he has to miss the whole season, the Knicks shouldn’t rush him back. They should use this year to see what they have with their young guns and David Fizdale. If they can surprise the league with a playoff run, they will rejuvenate a fan base that desperately needs it. However, this year is only a stepping stone to a brighter future in 2019 when they can go after big names like Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving in free agency.
Worst Case Scenario:
Kristaps Porzingis misses the whole season, and Kevin Knox develops some bad habits as the go-to scorer on a bad team. All of the flyers that they took prove why they are just flyers.
Best Case Scenario:
Kevin Knox is a Rookie of the Year candidate, Hezonja finds new life and finally earns the “Super Mario” moniker, and Ntilikina shoots just enough to keep defenses honest. The Knicks tread water until Porzingis comes back and push for a playoff spot in a weak East.
35-47; 4th in the Atlantic Division