By Avi Wizwer
With the New York Knicks’ 2023-2024 season just less than a month away following their playoff series win last year for the first time in a decade, they are expected to take the next step in their evolution as a team.
The expectations will be high for this team as they have the core that led them back to the second round of the playoffs, with players like their all-star point guard Jalen Brunson, their go-to option Julius Randle, and secondary option RJ Barrett. The new addition of Donte DiVincenzo in the off-season gives the Knicks a different look and adds depth to their team. Despite this being true, the team had difficulties as they lacked perimeter shooting and consistency within their secondary scoring options in the prior season. These issues may be able to create bigger problems come playoff time if they don’t trade for anyone before the trade deadline.
As the East Conference is now even tougher than it was last year, it will be more difficult for the Knicks to make it to the NBA Finals. As the Milwaukee Bucks just traded for star point guard Damian Lillard, this makes them a serious title contender. The dynamic trio of Giannis Antentokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and now Lillard could potentially create problems for the rest of the league.
The Boston Celtics also added star guard Jrue Holiday this off-season but got rid of some of their key players as well, trading away Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Grant Williams to the Dallas Mavericks. What they received this off-season instead was Kristaps Porzingis. These new additions definitely spice things up for the Celtics, but they still lack depth if they want to make a good run in the playoffs.
With the Eastern Conference adding a lot of new talent this year, it may be difficult for the Knicks to make a deep playoff run. They are potentially one player away from being a championship-contending team. There are still some questions that will be answered this season regarding their lack of perimeter shooting and perimeter defense. The team could be just about where they were last year for their record and become a fourth or fifth seed going into the playoffs. The returning trio of Brunson, Randle, and Barrett, as well as the pieces they added in the off-season, might stop the elites of the Eastern Conference.