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What to Expect from the Knicks This Season

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It’s hard to imagine a bigger catastrophe than the 2017-18 Knicks. With a record of 29-53, the dark cloud of Phil Jackson looming overhead, beginning the post-Carmelo-era and of course, this:

Two weeks before the All-Star Break, the injury took any heart the Knicks had, ripped it out of their chest and stomped on it repeatedly. From then on, things just got uglier and uglier. The Knicks saw themselves in a downward spiral with no end in sight.

Luckily enough for the Knicks and entire city of New York, life goes on.

Following the season, with their superstar still recovering from a torn ACL, the Knicks made a plethora of roster and staff moves. Headlined by the firing of head coach Jeff Hornacek and assistant coach Kurt Rambis, the Knicks have chosen to move on and begin a new era under their new head coach, David Fizdale. Coming from the Memphis Grizzlies, many executives and teams, including Pat Riley called Fizdale “the perfect hire.” Fizdale comes in with the hope of connecting with players on a personal level and bringing a positive culture to the court and clubhouse. Coming in with a 50-51 coaching record, “Fiz,” as the players call him, will look to make that record positive by years end.

On the court, the Knicks present a young nucleus, surrounded by just the right veterans for these young guys to grow. Having an average age of just under 26 years old, the Knicks have one of the youngest rosters in the entire league and for good reason. Their 9th overall pick this year, Kevin Knox out of Kentucky, comes into the league at 19 years old and will most likely be among the Knicks’ starting five on October 17th against the Hawks.

The Knicks will certainly face an uphill battle in order to reach the playoffs this year, especially since their superstar is expected to be sidelined until the all-star break at the earliest. Thus, leading me to the biggest storyline leading into this season, the health of the Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks and Porzingis haven’t been committed to any sort of return date and have come out with multiple statements such as the following:

The Porzingis situation also serves another role that can make or break the Knicks for years to come– this being the summer of 2019. With numerous players such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Damian Lillard expressing their desire to play in New York, the Knicks need to show this season that their young core can support one, two, or even three superstars in the years to come. If Porzingis can return to the court, stay healthy, and hopefully win, the Knicks can potentially serve as one of the top landing spots for big money free agents. On the other hand, if KP struggles, has a setback or just simply isn’t the same after all his rehab, players may be hesitant to take on the otherwise lackluster roster.

Lets face it, the Knicks will not win the Finals this season, but this season will serve to be a massive year in Knicks history if they can push the right buttons. If the Knicks have a lottery pick again this year, Kevin Knox proves he can be a potential all-star in this league, Porzingis comes back and plays well, and the rest of the roster can grow with one another, then land a big time free agent or two, we can surely be talking about the Knicks as a big time competitor within the next year or two.

Record Prediction: 30-52

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