The New York Knicks as of Right Now

2 mins read

By Peter Murphy ’24 and Hezzy Benson ’26

What is a realistic goal for the New York Knicks? They have been one of the league’s most up and down teams this season, including winning highs made by their best player Jalen Brunson and very bad lows. An example of this would be their most recent loss versus the Orlando Magic. There is a question on just how far the New York Knicks can go on their quest for a deep playoff run.

Ahead of the season, it wasn’t exactly clear what to expect from the Knicks. However, it seemed a playoff appearance would be a must in order for coach Tom Thibodeau to stay. Tom Thibodeau’s job was practically on a string in the beginning of the season with lots of backlash from Knicks fans everywhere. The players on the Knicks however thought differently. While Jalen Brunson was being reported on at a press conference he answered a question about the liability of their coach, in which Brunson had to say, “Coach Thibs has done a great job. He’s been able to put us in positions where we need to succeed. I think he knows where to put those puzzle pieces. It’s just on us to actually execute.”

 The Knicks have been an incredibly streaky team this season, but the bottom line is that with Jalen Brunson, the Knicks are a potential conference final team. Without Brunson, the Knicks don’t have the slightest chance of making the second round of the playoffs. Julius Randle is another staple for the Knicks and is averaging a double double so far this season. Randle likes to handle the ball, but he shares the limelight with Brunson perfectly when they are both on the floor. 

For some reason, Brunson wasn’t selected as an all star, but he is playing as one, averaging 23.8 points and 6.2 assists. But more importantly, Brunson seems to bring out the best of everyone on the Knicks. He can hold onto the ball when double teamed and get himself out of seemingly inescapable situations, a reality even more incredible due to his 6 ‘2 frame. Brunson and Randle are backed up by RJ Barrett, who is very skilled at driving though to the basket. The Knicks best three point shooter, Josh Hart, has also been instrumental for the team and continues to shine from the three point line. Mitchell Robinson when he is healthy also shines in the paint with his large size and great athleticism. The five together can beat great teams when they show up. This squad has beaten the Nuggets, Celtics, Nets, and 76ers this season. The Knicks have dominated the season series vs the Celtics as well, only losing once. But such performances are too irregular for a deep playoff run. Surely the Knicks will run into a superior team like the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs, which will ultimately end conversations about a new era in New York, and reopening speculation about Tom Thibodeau as coach. However, the Knicks can achieve great things as a team. They have proven that. While being led by Brunson, and Randle, they have a very impressive base, and are a team that can match the magnificent 70’s era that was the dynasty’s bright moment so long ago. 

For Knicks fans, there is indeed some promise.

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