The New York Knicks shocked the NBA world by making the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons last year. But after a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks fans were eager to see how the Knicks would follow up this season. The Knicks kicked off the season with a 138-134 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. As you might have expected Knicks fans flooded the streets of New York City to celebrate their home-opening win.
Stephen A. Smith Urges Knicks Fans to ‘Calm Down’
The Knicks followed up their win over the Celtics with a 121-96 win over the Orlando Magic. They are now 2-0 on the season and one of just seven undefeated teams in the NBA. While the Knicks certainly have been impressive to start, ESPN analyst and noted Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith is warning fans to not put the cart before the horse.
“Okay peeps. Okay peeps. Let’s crawl before we walk,” Smith said via his Twitter account on October 23. “Because even I am not this bad!!! Let’s calm down please and watch our language. Advisory: do NOT emulate this”
Knicks’ Versatility Is Big Reason for Their Success
For a long time, the Knicks had garnered a reputation for being the NBA’s eyesore. But the hiring of head coach Tom Thibodeau has changed the culture of Knicks basketball as they are steadily improving. His adaptation to the playstyle of the modern-day NBA has the Knicks looking like one of the more versatile teams in their conference.
“What we’re seeing in the NBA today is the premium that’s put on shooting. Oftentimes, there are at least four 3-point shooters on the floor. Now we’re seeing that there’s five,” Thibodeau said per Ian O’Connor of the “New York Post.”
“One of the things, why I think we’re effective when Julius [Randle] is at the five and Obi [Toppin} is at the four, is because the floor is opened up and now we have driving gaps where we can get to the basket. The great value in our team is the versatility.’’
Knicks second-year guard Immanuel Quickley echoes Thibodeau’s sentiments that the depth of the Knicks roster is one of the team’s greatest strengths.
“That’s a big part of our teams’ success is our depth,’’ Quickley said after the win via the “New York Post.” “We can go a full 15. Everybody does something really special with our team and everybody knows what they’re good at. And we play to each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses.’’
While it is still very early in the season, the Knicks have turned heads with a 2-0 start to the year. It is the best start the team has had since the 2012-13 season when they started the year 6-0.
But after a 2020 season where they earned the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference the measuring stick for the Knicks has grown beyond what they can accomplish in the regular season. Fans are now looking to see if they can achieve that same level of success in the NBA playoffs.