The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The NY Knicks Have All the Pieces To Be True Contenders

AP Photo / David Zalubowski

Over the last few years, the New York Knicks have been on an absolute rollercoaster of a ride regarding their seasonal successes. Just two years ago, during the 2021-2022 season, the Knicks were sitting near the bottom, finishing their season as the No. 11 seed in the Eastern Conference, but things are looking up for the Knicks. Now, they sit comfortably at the top of the conference, resting at about the No. 5 seed. Will they be able to catch a ride to the finals? I absolutely think they will.

The Knicks are no dominating force within the Eastern Conference, but they are not an easy four-game-sweep playoff team. The Knicks look strong this season and are itching for a good playoff run. This season, they are led by 2024 NBA All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson, who shoots 47.8 percent from the field, averaging 27.6 points per game and 6.4 assists per game.  Most people would say the Knicks’ success started with Jalen Brunson, but many need to remember the team’s other All-Star, Julias Randle. Randle has not had the same success as his teammate, but still puts up substantial numbers by shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 24 points per game and dishing the ball around the court with five assists per game.

Most people forget that Julius Randle carried the Knicks to a playoff appearance in 2021 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks were just the more dominant team during this series, which is when the nickname “Ice Trae” became famous, as their starting PG Trae Young persevered and even thrived through the brutal chants and screams that shouted from the electric environment of the fans within Madison Square Garden. But that New York team was very different. Julius Randle carried that team to what little success you could call a first-round exit season. This year’s team has more passion and heart within their style of play. 

The team’s two All-Stars are not the only thing to brag about, but most of the players on their roster are all powerful weapons on the floor, starting with their centers, Isiah Hartenstein and injured Mitchell Robinson, who averaged 8.5 and 10.3 rebounds per game, respectively. The other two Villanova alumni, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo, play a vital role in the team’s defense, collecting numerous rebounds and steals. Divincenzo averages 1.3 steals per game with 14.3 points, and Hart puts up 8.1 rebounds with 3.7 assists per game. One of the Knicks’ most recent trade pickups was from the Toronto Raptors, OG Anunoby. OG has been battling some injuries but still has shown solid numbers for his first season with the Knicks. He has shot 49.7 percent from the field this season with 14.5 points per game. The Knicks have numerous offensive and defensive weapons at their disposal this season. How could such a powerful team not make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, nonetheless the NBA Finals?

Not many commentators agree on the value of the Knicks. There are numerous things they have pointed out that infringe upon the Knicks’ success. The biggest threat is their injuries. OG Anunoboy has been battling a persistent elbow injury and was cleared to play, but once it flared up, he was put back on the sideline. Julius Randle is battling a shoulder injury, while Mitchell Robinson is dealing with an ankle injury. The excellent news for Knicks fans is that they are incorporating more physical practices and drills into their training regimen. 

Right now, the Boston Celtics are comfortably seated as the first seed in the East with a record of 55-14, with the Knicks sitting at 41-27. But the famously outspoken and loud Stephen A. Smith argues that the biggest threat to the Eastern Conference Title being owned by the Celtics is the New York Knicks, as per ESPN.

“If the New York Knicks get healthy, I believe they are the number one threat to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference,” Smith said.

I will take it further due to my New Yorker bias, but my point stands, and I agree with Smith. If the world sees a healthy New York Knicks team this season, we will all be watching the Knicks in the NBA finals. 

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