Constantly brainstorming different ways to make our content stand out, it’s an honor to introduce TEAM FOCUS, a fresh, new series on The Sky Box Suite that categorizes articles that focuses on specific teams in professional sports. Last week, Braxton gave his Early Analysis of the Los Angeles Lakers. This week, I’ll be focusing on the New York Knicks and the team’s untapped potential.
For the past few seasons, the New York Knicks, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2012, haven’t had the best time in the league. They ended last season with a 29-53 record (a 31-51 record the year before) under Jeff Hornacek. The franchise recently brought in David Fizdale as the new head coach, but this isn’t the first time they welcomed new leadership in hopes that the next few years would somehow produce different results for the declining regime.
It’s no secret that I’ve always had a certain affinity for the underdogs. When teams like the Philadelphia Eagles can win their first ever Super Bowl championship in 2018 or the Chicago Cubs make MLB history like they did in the 2017 World Series, defending underdogs isn’t so bad. Anything is possible in sports.
Realistically, the franchise could take advantage of the free agency by trading Frank Ntilikina for another skilled veteran alongside Lance Thomas and Tim Hardaway, Jr, as well as a possible 6th man to Enes Kanter or Mario Hezonja. interchangeably and someone who is good on both sides of the court. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but if they could manage to land another impact player like they did circa 2010 with Amar'e Stoudemire, they could find themselves in much better position they they have been. And despite what has or has not been said about Carmelo Anthony, devoid of playoff success with the Knicks, he was a solid player and in my humble opinion, his time in the Garden should’ve lasted much longer than it did.
Speaking of Carmelo Anthony, it would be interesting to see what would happen if Knicks’ front office decided to resign Melo and he were to return to Madison, especially with Kristaps Porzingis health on the line. OKC wasn’t a good fit, Houston wasn’t either, and the standing argument over the past few seasons with him switching teams so frequently have questioned how much longer he is able to sustain his All-Star status in the league and be the kind of leader he needs to be on any team. Even if it’s off the bench, a power move like that would be an ideal way for him retire in the next 2-4 years.
Currently sitting at 8-18, a low no. 12 in the Eastern Conference, there’s more than enough time left in the season to come out on top. Even if “the magic” doesn’t happen immediately, if the young team remains patient and committed, there’s a world of opportunity for the franchise to maximize existing potential, get back in the game, and rise to greatness sooner than later.