Insider Sends Strong Message on Knicks Ahead of New Season

rj barrett

Getty RJ Barrett is gearing up for a breakout season.

Despite the upgrades made to the roster this season, the New York Knicks still find themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs, but that’s not entirely their fault.

The Eastern Conference is incredibly deep, and a team like the Knicks who have the roster of a playoff team might find themselves outside of the play-in tournament for the second season in a row.

Part of this might come down to missing out on Donovan Mitchell, but the Knicks did make improvements this offseason and there’s no question about it.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst spoke about the Knicks on NBA Today, and he argued they’d be a difficult team to defeat, especially at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks Could be Surprising

Windhorst says that while the Knicks might not be a playoff team this upcoming year, they did make a step in the right direction.

“I don’t think they’re going to be a surefire playoff team,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll necessarily be in the play-in.”

Going from Alec Burks and Kemba Walker to Jalen Brunson is a huge leap, and Windhorst believes it’ll make the Knicks a much tougher opponent, even if it doesn’t mean they’ll win more games.

“Winning 41 or 39 games this year might be a real good accomplishment considering how competitive the Eastern Conference is. I think it is a step forward for the Knicks. And I don’t think they’re gonna be an easy team to beat, especially going into The Garden.

Knicks star RJ Barrett believes they have what it takes to “shock the world” in the upcoming season, and while it’s fair to have optimism like that, it doesn’t seem like many people are joining him in the assessment.

On the other hand, it is a bit strange to see people raving about the improvements New York made to the roster only to see them barely take a step up in wins, but those are again factors out of their control.

One Day at a Time

The time for predictions is almost at an end as the regular season is right around the corner. The preseason isn’t always the best way to tell what’s to come in the next season, but there are some encouraging signs.

RJ Barrett is shooting well, Randle looks good playing next to Brunson, and Brunson himself looks like a major upgrade over the likes of Burks and Walker from last season.

He’s excited to be a Knick as he’s being coach by his father, so there’s a lot to feel good about going into the season. Fans will need to be wary about getting too excited, because everybody remembers last season’s “bing bong” era that ended up being used as a way to mock the team later in the season.

While it’s still a very small sample size of three games, Barrett’s has bumped up his shooting to almost 50 percent per game while keeping the points per game largely the same.

If enough of the young players continue their development and Randle finds a way to get back on track, the playoffs might be within reach.

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