The New York Knicks are 2-1 to start the year and that has a lot of people buzzing including Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino.
Pitino, a Hall of Fame inductee in 2013, tweeted about the Knicks and praised how “fun” the team is to watch so far.
“Love how the Knicks are playing – was hoping for Donovan but love how [Jalen Brunson and Cam Reddish] are developing,” he wrote. “Fun team to watch and Tibs doing his usual great job!! They are turning the corner.”
Of course, it’s very important to note that it’s very early into the year and the Knicks got off to a hot start last season only to miss the playoffs in the end. As a result, it might be too early to say the Knicks are turning a corner, but the signs are there.
Encouraging Signs From the Knicks
One thing Pitino does note is the effect Brunson and Reddish are having so far. After having a rough preseason, Reddish has looked much better in the regular season in the absence of Quentin Grimes. As Grimes continues to recover from injury, Reddish will look to keep making the most of his opportunity.
Through these three games, Reddish is averaging 11.7 points per game on 55.6 percent shooting, by far a career best if that number were to keep up.
In the case of Brunson, it’s as clear as day what type of abilities he brings to the roster. He didn’t commit a turnover through his first two games, and he’s been able to get his teammates open looks.
Julius Randle looks very solid playing alongside him, and if that production keeps up we could very easily see Randle back on the All-Star team. Even former MVP Derrick Rose has been singing the praises for Brunson.
“Me playing behind him, and just seeing how much of a leader he is … I’m learning from him,” he said. “He’s always picking people up every day. He’s very persistent with his energy. … You’re hearing his voice, and that’s what you need from your point guard. We’re very lucky to have him.”
Still a Tough Road
Even with Brunson in town running the show, the Knicks still have a battle ahead of them if they want to make the playoffs.
With projections putting the Knicks as a play-in team, that would mean they just have to be better than five other teams, and it looks like they do have a good shot at doing that. Early on, it’s looking like both the Pistons and Magic will have their share of struggles this season, meaning the Knicks are in a decent spot in securing at least the 10th seed.
It’s always tough to say for certain how a team will look at the midway point in a season based on just a couple of games, especially when that team isn’t fully healthy.
It’ll be easier to tell where they stand once they reach full strength with Grimes back from injury, but Reddish has been doing a great job of filling in so far.