The New York Knicks may still be in the running for the 2023 Larry O’Brien trophy, but already they find themselves linked to a major offseason storyline. According to ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, Leon Rose and company are subtly monitoring the situation between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Is Giannis [Antetokounmpo] going to extend? I don’t know. And that uncertainty is what the league is watching right now. The New York Knicks, for example, they got 97% of their attention on the Miami Heat, 3% of their attention on Milwaukee. What’s going on over there,” Brian Windhorst said of the Knicks’ interest in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
As is seemingly the case every offseason, the Knicks once again find themselves tabbed as being a possible pursuer of one of the game’s best players in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been in the spotlight of late after his Bucks were ousted in the first-round playoff by the Miami Heat and the recent firing of Milwaukee’s head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Josh Hart Likes Knicks Chances for Game 3 in Miami
Though some such as Brian Windhorst may be discussing potential offseason plans for the Knicks, veteran wing Josh Hart is focused on the club’s upcoming two-game road trip down in South Beach where he believes New York has a good shot of pulling out a win or two considering the fact that their play away from home has been rather impressive all throughout the season.
He believes there are two major reasons for why this is.
“I think when you go on the road, there are less distractions,” Hart told reporters following a recent practice. “You’re not worried about family, tickets, what are you going to eat after the game. You have only basketball…So sometimes, you’re able to be locked in a little bit more. And then, we played for the Knicks. [The] Knicks fans, they show up wherever we play. Whether that’s in Oklahoma City or I know you guys have been down to Miami at the end of the year. We’re having ‘Let’s go Knicks’ chants. You know what I mean? So I think it’s the camaraderie that we have been able to be locked in and focused, and the Knicks fanatics are traveling and show out.”
The Knicks finished off the 2022-23 regular season with a 24-17 road record, the fifth-best in the association. Already seven games into the NBA Playoffs, New York has gone 2-1 while away from MSG.
Heading into Game 3 down in Miami, Josh Hart seems to believe that they have a realistic chance of adding to their postseason road win total.
Julius Randle Opens Up on Injury Recovery
Not only was Game 2 the first win for the Knicks during their current second-round opponent in the Miami Heat, but it also subsequently served as the return game for star big man Julius Randle who had been sidelined since April 26 due to a reaggravated left ankle sprain.
During his post-game media session, when asked what he went through to prepare himself for his return to the hardwood leading into Tuesday’s contest, the power forward was straightforward with his response.
“It was hell,” Randle said. “Just every day around the clock, trying to get my body right. I don’t have a problem doing the work. Mentally, it’s a grind.”
In his first game back from injury, Julius Randle logged 37 minutes of action and posted a stat line of 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists while shooting 44.4% from the field.
Fortunately, he showed little to no signs of lingering pain which likely bodes well for his availability moving forward.