Knicks Predicted to Finish Lower Than 2022 Season

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Tom Thibodeau the head coach of the New York Knicks against the Indiana Pacers.

A gainst all odds again.

Despite beating the Cleveland Cavaliers handily in the last playoffs and the uncertainty in Philadelphia, both teams were pegged above the New York Knicks in ESPN’s 2023-24 NBA season predictions.

The Knicks are predicted to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 46-36 record, a win short of their 47-35 finish last season that enabled them to grab the fifth seed.

ESPN’s top five teams in the East are the Boston Celtics (55-27), Milwaukee Bucks (54-28), Cavaliers (50-32), 76ers (47-35) and Miami Heat (46-36).

The Cavaliers have addressed their weaknesses — lack of outside shooting and physicality — this offseason after adding veterans Max Strus, Georges Niang and center Damian Jones.

ESPN’s panel of experts “is high on the young core of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.”

They also cited Joel Embiid’s presence, despite whoever will play next to him pending the resolution of the James Harden trade demand saga, as the reason why the 76ers will still finish in the top four.

Despite losing key members of last year’s remarkable Finals run in Strus and Gabe Vincent to free agency, the Heat, who could look entirely different if they land Damian Lillard, are predicted to win the tie-breaker for the fifth seed.

The Knicks have only made minor tweaks to their roster, adding Donte DiVincenzo in free agency and subtracting Obi Toppin, who was traded to Indiana for late second-round picks.

Knicks Predicted to Land Not Only 1 but 2 Stars

Former Knicks rival Richard Jefferson believes the stars are finally coming to New York.

“I think Joel Embiid and another superstar will end up in New York,” Jefferson boldly claimed on the August 17 episode of the Road Trippin Show.

Jefferson’s belief is based on the Knicks finally building a sustainable winning culture with Jalen Brunson at its center.

“No one wanted to come be the savior of the New York Knicks,” Jefferson said. “So now that they have the talent they built within, they’ve got core pieces, they’ve got an all-star point guard in Brunson, and now guys are going to want to play there.”

Brunson’s contract ($104 million, four years with a player option on the final year) is the key for the Knicks to add two max players, according to Jefferson.

He likens Brunson’s contract to what Stephen Curry had when the Golden State Warriors were able to add Kevin Durant to build their dynasty.

“Brunson’s on a friendly contract that runs in with an All-NBA player that’s getting paid like a low-level all-star,” Jefferson said. “I think that Brunson deal is going to be such a team-friendly one that allows them to get two max contracts, which is very difficult today to add three max contract players and nothing else but minimums.”

Quentin Grimes Mourns Loss of College Teammate

Quentin Grimes mourned the untimely death of his University of Houston teammate Reggie Chaney in the middle of his offseason camp with former Knicks guard Anfernee Hardaway.

Chaney, 23, died Monday. The former Cougars forward was found by a family friend unresponsive in a bedroom at an apartment in Arlington, Texas, according to a Houston Chronicle report.

The 22-year-old Grimes has been busy this summer with offseason workouts, from linking up with 15-year NBA veteran JJ Redick at the Hamptons to participating in the USA Basketball training camp with the U.S. Select Team in Las Vegas and now with Hardaway.

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