In 2021-22, the New York Knicks finished the regular season with a 37-45 record and missed the qualifying tournament. Since then, New York has made one crucial move in particular, which was to sign point guard Jalen Brunson in free agency. That’s two decades too long.
If the Utah Jazz trade three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks are still considered the favorites to land him. Adding Mitchell to the mix would lead many to believe that New York would be able to solidify a playoff spot in 2022-23, but the truth is the team has a pretty good chance of doing so with looks. current list.
Knicks fans needn’t worry about Tom Thibodeau forcing Alec Burks to run the point. No offense to Burks, but any offense would be limited with a non-point guard. Brunson isn’t the answer to all of the problems that plagued New York last season, but his addition can’t be understated.
The assumption should be that the Knicks are going to win more than 37 games in 2022-23, which is what ESPN thinks. However, ESPN’s belief (subscription required) is that New York will only win two games more than last year.
ESPN predicts the Knicks will finish with a 39-43 record in 2022-23
Again, New York isn’t certain of making the playoffs next season, but predicting the team will finish 39-43 (10th in the East) is a little on the low side. However, it’s no surprise that ESPN doesn’t give the Knicks the credit they deserve and in all honesty, New York might be better off being underrated.
Here are the nine Eastern Conference teams that were listed above the Knicks:
- Boston Celtics: 54-28
- Milwaukee Bucks: 54-28
- Miami Heat: 51-31
- Philadelphia Sixers: 50-32
- Toronto Raptors: 47-35
- Atlanta Hawks: 46-36
- Cleveland Cavaliers: 45-37
- Chicago Bulls: 44-38
- Brooklyn Nets: 40-42
When discussing why New York was ranked No. 10 at the conference, here’s what was written by ESPN’s NBA Insiders Panel:
Things could be looking up for Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks team after they landed free agent guard Jalen Brunson, and talk continues around Donovan Mitchell’s prospects going to Madison Square Garden via trade.
But it remains to be seen how much this team has improved over the summer. The Knicks are hoping Julius Randle can return to All-Star form and that RJ Barrett and young players, such as Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, will continue to develop for a team that had high expectations for last season.
It’s true that the Knicks had higher hopes for the 2021-22 season due to their playoff spot in 2020-21. The organization made a flurry of off-season free agent signings that turned out not to work out as expected (Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks).
Fournier and Rose are the only two players who are still on the roster, although if a Donovan Mitchell trade doesn’t happen, the assumption is that Quentin Grimes will take Fournier’s shooting spot.
New York has had a better offseason after signing Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein, re-signing Mitchell Robinson and converting Jericho Sims’ two-way to a guaranteed deal. Grimes, Sims, Deuce McBride and Feron Hunt performed well for the Knicks in the Summer League.
The front office laid the foundation for future success. New York’s expectations might have been higher at the start of last season, but fans know there’s more hope for what this group can accomplish in 2022-23.
The Knicks will continue to fly under the radar, but don’t be surprised in April when their regular season record is better than 39-43.