For the first time in years, the New York Knicks seem to be headed in a good direction.
This season, the Knicks have a somewhat competitive lineup that actually fits. It is composed of:
|Point Guard:||Shooting Guard:||Small Forward:||Power Forward:||Center:|
|Elfrid Payton||RJ Barrett||Alec Burks||Obi Toppin||Mitchell Robinson|
|Frank Ntilikina||Austin Rivers||Kevin Knox II||Julius Randle||Nerlens Noel|
|Dennis Smith Jr.||Wayne Ellington||Reggie Bullock||Omari Spellman|
|Immanuel Quickley||Jacob Evans III||Ignas Brazdeikis|
While not spectacular, the lineup features new additions that are certain to help the Knicks finally overcome their long and grueling rebuild. These new names feature Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Austin Rivers. These three players will be able to provide the young team with wide knowledge of the game and are great for complementary options on any team. These players, along with rookies Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley and the newly acquired Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans III, join a Knicks team that has only spent one year together.
This season, expect the Knicks to improve on all fronts – specifically from long range. With the addition of capable shooters like Burks, Rivers, and Spellman (when needed), the Knicks have given RJ Barrett a great opportunity to show what he’s made of. The floor spacing with allow Barrett to operate along the wing. He should also receive more open looks from beyond the perimeter, so his three point percentage should rise. Look for Obi Toppin to stretch the floor (to an extent) as well. With Toppin, the Knicks have the most NBA-ready player to come out of the draft. He should be able to bring high efficiency and volume scoring, a current point of weakness for the Knicks. Mitchell Robinson should also continue to make steps towards a top defender in the league. With a defensive minded coach like Tom Thibodeau, his fouls will go down and his defensive ability will continue to get better.
Ideally, the Knicks should be aiming for around 35 wins and the 9-10 seed in the Eastern Conference, and aiming for a late lottery pick next year. This will set the Knicks up well for the future, with the ability to attract star free agents to pair with their young core. Spearheaded by Leon Rose, the New York Knicks look like they are on track for a bright future.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports