The Knicks are looking to return to the playoffs in 2021. Here are three reasons why they will be able to do so.
The nba new york knicks are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association. They have been around since 1946 and have won 2 championships since then. They will return to the playoffs in 2021, due to 3 reasons.
The New York Knicks are coming off a promising 2020-21 NBA season, despite a disappointing first-round series defeat to the Atlanta Hawks. The latter finished 41-31 to win the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed, and Julius Randle became the franchise’s first player.
They were also an outstanding defensive team, ranking first in the NBA in opponent points per game (104.7), opponent field goal percentage (44.0), and opponent three-point shooting % during the regular season (33.7 percent).
In point guard Kemba Walker and wing Evan Fournier, the second year of the Tom Thibodeau era will see the acquisition of two highly regarded veterans. Randle, meanwhile, signed a four-year contract deal in the offseason. Even in the middle of a potentially muddled playoff picture in the East, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Knicks’ near future.
Here are three reasons why the New York Knicks will return to the NBA playoffs in 2021-22.
The Knicks have been together for a long time.
Nearly two-thirds of New York’s roster returns from previous season. Most of the returning players, such as Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, and Alec Burks, were key components of their offense and are now signed for at least the next two seasons.
The Knicks’ offense picked more speed in the second part of the regular season thanks to Rose. He was the second unit’s leader, a dribbling machine, and perhaps the team’s greatest scorer in the playoffs. Thibodeau’s rotation would have taken a hit if he had lost the veteran.
In the aftermath of Mitchell Robinson’s foot injury, Noel established himself as the team’s defensive cornerstone down the stretch. The former’s ability to play both inside and outside while also being the team’s top scorer compliments Randle’s ability to play both inside and outside.
Burks had a near-starting position off the bench in terms of minutes, providing shooting, ball-handling, and defense. Last season, the Knicks had a second unit of starting-caliber guys who played regular roles. Obi Toppin, a second-year big guy, and Robinson/Noel, who have similar inner inclinations, are among them.
For the Knicks, Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier are ideal.
Because of Walker and Fournier’s respective entrances, the majority of the aforementioned players are coming off the bench. Walker steps in to fill the void as starting point guard. He’s a calm ball handler who can easily go to the rim and score off the dribble.
Walker averaged 19.3 points per game last season despite an up-and-down year in the Boston Celtics’ offense and in terms of availability. The focus Walker will get as a result of his ability to generate separation will divert some attention away from Randle and RJ Barrett. Walker provides the Knicks with a two-for-one player, one who can get his ducks in a row and score 20 points on any given night.
The Knicks get a dynamic scorer in Fournier. He can shoot from long range and off the dribble, as well as handle the rock and finish through contact.
His skill set is versatile enough to be utilized as a main or supplementary scorer. Fournier is the ideal guy to slot in between Randle, a versatile scorer, and Barrett, a slashing/attacking scorer still in the early stages of his career. He spreads the floor for the two southpaws and can surprise opponents with his dribble shooting. Walker and Fournier give the Knicks’ offense additional dimensions.
New York has a burgeoning young population.
Rose, 33, and Taj Gibson, 36, are the Knicks’ “veterans,” but they aren’t quite senior citizens. Those they’re counting on for big-time productivity are either towards the end of their careers or in the middle of one. They also have a few guys on rookie contracts with a lot of potential.
Barrett has steadily progressed throughout the course of his NBA career. Barrett must now take a big step forward in his third season, putting up 20 points per game and playing like an All-Star. Last season, he hit 40.1 percent from beyond the arc, making him a solid defender who is aggressive off the dribble.
Immanuel Quickley had a smooth and effective rookie season, showing off a long-range jump jumper and going inside off the dribble. Given the quality surrounding him in year two, as well as the fact that he’s coming off the bench once again, Quickley is even more dangerous. Toppin is a lively big guy with a knack for scoring. He has the ability to shoot above the rim, play in the post, and put the ball in the basket. Robinson is a strong shot blocker who often completes alley-oops.
Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride, both rookies, will most likely only play if/when injuries arise. McBride and Grimes, on the other hand, have plug-and-play skill sets, since both are solid defenders and deadeye shooters.
Randle is coming off a breakthrough season, the Knicks have established and productive commodities returning to their rotation, a pair of recruits with desirable skill sets, and many young players who can only get better. They have the depth and a diverse group of players to weather injuries and improve on their playoff participation in 2020-21. New York may not win the fourth seed, but they will return to the playoffs the following year.
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