This year may prove to be a rebuilding year for the Knicks—or a re-rebuilding year. The team will need a lot more talent and brains to go up against their division counterparts: the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia ‘76’ers, and the Brooklyn Nets.
While they may be under pressure from fans to perform, it’s expected that the Knicks will struggle again to make the playoffs going into the 2022/23 season; NBA betting odds on the team are likely to pitch them as underdogs in many matches.
This being said, we would expect the team to be making some progress from last year, and may see the Knicks getting a few more wins as the season progresses.
In 2020 the team had a change in management and hired veteran coach, Tom Thibodeau. With Thibodeau at the helm, and new acquisitions, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, the team qualified for the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. Last year, however, they finished dead last in the Atlantic Division of the East Conference.
One of the most storied sports teams in history, the New York Knicks are, perennially, the subject of think-pieces, op-eds, reverent odes and appreciations, and hilarious mockery. They are the Big Apple team, playing in the heart of Manhattan at Madison Square Garden, and along with the Boston Celtics are one of only two original NBA teams who still play in their original city.
The team was founded in 1946 but did not reach dynasty-level greatness until the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Under the legendary stewardship of coach Red Holzman, and leadership of hall of fame center, Willis Reed, the Knickerbockers won two NBA championships. A long dormant period would follow.
Then came 1985. The franchise drafted a 7-foot center out of Georgetown University as their first pick. The 80’s and 90’s era would see a dominant Knicks team led by the genius hall-of-fame-bound center, Patrick Ewing.
With Ewing and John Starks, along with superfan support of some New York jet-set celebrities like Spike Lee sitting court side, the Knicks almost went all the way numerous times. They just had the misfortune of running into Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls at every crucial juncture.
Following Ewing’s departure, the squad from 4 Pennsylvania Plaza went into a slump. They have drafted top notch players and hired some of the best coaches—Jeff Van Gundy, Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas, Mike D’Antoni, and Derek Fisher, to name a few—but have remained in a unique sort of flow state of rebuilding for the past twenty years.
These years have not been without some bright spots. Amar’e Stoudemire, Stephon Marbury, and Carmelo Anthony were the standouts (and one should not forget the thrilling season of “Linsanity” led by newcomer Jeremy Lin). Although these teams showed signs of brilliance, the Knicks have continued to struggle.