image via J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports
Yep..You’re reading that correctly. I said it. The Knicks and the Playoffs in the same sentence. I know it’s a stretch, but it’s possible…I think. Although writing this article may be the dumbest, most illogical thing I’ve ever done, it might have a legitimate shot of being true. Here’s why…
The East is WIDE OPEN
This may be true, but sadly, has been so for quite some time. Knick fans tend to go back to this when making their point of playoff contingency, but it obviously never pans out. In the East, the top 7 seeds are set. In no particular order, here are those teams.
I see it being very hard for these teams to drop lower than the 7 seed, then along out of the Playoffs. So, that leaves one open spot. Almost TOO open. So open in fact, a team full of young-bucks and Power Forwards have a chance to slip in. Here’s HOW…
Julius Randle Breakout Season
Surprisingly, the depth the Knicks have is actually not that bad. While all eyes are going directly toward 3rd overall pick RJ Barrett, it may overshadow great performances from the multitude of role players we have. I mean, our team is a giant role player. This will allow Free Agent signee Julius Randle to potentially put up All-Star caliber numbers. Julius has shown flashes in the past, but this is the year for him to prove he’s an All-Star.
Julius Randle: 21.4 PPG, 8.7 REB, 3.1 AST
Smash Mouth Basketball
With acquisitions such as Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, along with Mitchell Robinson, It’s clear the Knicks are going for a physical style of play. The lack of shooting is evident. We can assume RJ Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr, and Kevin Knox won’t be able to carry the 3PT shooting load, so why not go all-in with the smash-mouth style of play? This may remind you of the 2012-2013 Grit and Grind Memphis Grizzlies, consisting of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and Mike Conley. Reminder, this team made it to the Western Conference Finals. Again, this is a stretch, even from a Knicks fan.
The DSJ Effect
All-in-All, the fate of this season lies in one player. His name is Dennis Smith Jr. Coming off of a somewhat lackluster season, we expect a major bounce back. He will now be known as a “veteran,” so the expectations are much different. If he does happen to take a 3rd-year jump, we can expect the team to rally around him. If not, then we can expect another under-25 win season.
As a Knicks fan, the last thing we should do is EXPECT to make the playoffs. The odds are just too slim and we’ll end up looking like a Stephen A. Smith meme. A 30+ win season is more than what we can ask for, but that’s the goal.
Sad Knicks Fan