The New York Knicks: A Fluke or For Real?


(Left to right) Knicks SF RJ Barrett, PF Obi Toppin, SG Quentin Grimes, and PG Derrick Rose

Jonathan Levy, Staff Writer

After an eventful 2022 offseason, the NBA regular season has opened up to an exciting start. Some teams, such as the overachieving Utah Jazz and underachieving Los Angeles Lakers, have surprised us thus far. However, other teams such as the dominant Boston Celtics and underwhelming Orlando Magic have been just what we expected so far. Nonetheless, as a Knicks fan, the beginning of this new season has me wondering whether the Knicks will be able to repeat the success of their 2020-2021 season or if they will continue to trend downward after a disappointing 2021-2022 season. 


The New York Knicks’ Noteworthy Regular Season Factors

When examining the New York Knicks’ roster over the past five seasons, one particular inconsistency sticks out—the volatility of the point guard position. Over the past five seasons, a different player has been the Knicks’ starting point guard on opening day. As the primary

Knicks Point Guard Jalen Brunson

facilitator of a team’s offense, a point guard is key to offensive success. Therefore, I believe that the play and consistency of new Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson will be instrumental in the outcome of the Knicks’ regular season. Having signed Brunson to a four-year, $104 million dollar deal, the Knicks clearly believe in Brunson and his capability to be their point guard for the coming future. Thus far, through the Knicks’ first four games of the season, Brunson’s offensive facilitation has been impressive. Firstly, Brunson tied the record for the most consecutive assists without recording a turnover for any player beginning his Knicks career, as Brunson recorded 15 assists before turning the ball over. Looking away from individual statistics, Brunson’s beneficial effect on the Knicks has been evident thus far as his play on offense has made a difference in the Knicks’ offensive efficiency. More specifically, Knicks power forward Julius Randle has looked far improved after a 2021-2022 slump. Turning the ball over far less, taking better shots, and making smart passes, Randle has looked very reminiscent of his 2020-2021 all-star form. Not to mention, other key rotation players Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein, Obi Toppin, and Derrick Rose have seen impressive offensive efficiency with Brunson facilitating the Knicks’ offense. 

Apart from their point guard’s consistency on the offensive end, the Knicks’ defensive performance will also be vital in determining the outcome of the regular season. While stating that “defense” as a whole is a massive determining factor in a team’s success may seem obvious,

Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau

 playing effective defense is especially crucial for the Knicks. In the 2020-2021 season, when the Knicks finished 4th in the East, the Knicks finished 2nd in the NBA in defensive rating and 1st in the least points allowed per game. Moreover, with defensive-minded head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks’ strength should be their defense. Even with a revamped offense led by Jalen Brunson, the Knicks’ scoring ability is nothing to write home about. Therefore, if the Knicks want a chance to be competitive in the East once again, it’s crucial that they return to their elite defensive form from just two seasons ago. 


Final Prediction: Knicks finish season 43-39; make the playoffs as the 8th seed and lose to the Milwaukee Bucks in 5 games in the first round.