A sizzling hot and cohesive New York Knicks team finished preseason with a perfect record of 4-0. Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks showed playoff intensity throughout preseason in what many view as a statement stretch of exhibition basketball before the real season starts. Many have different win/loss predictions for the Knicks. I will surely talk about my prediction on where the Knicks will finish the season.
New York’s Favorite Team Tested Different Lineups During Preseason.
Tom Thibodeau liked the NYK lineup that closed their win vs. WAS. With Quentin Grimes, Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin and Julius Randle on the floor, Knicks outscored WAS by 16 in final 7 minutes. Thibodeau felt Grimes’ defensive versatility was one key factor for lineup.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 16, 2021
During the final seven minutes of the Knicks/Wizards preseason finale, the Knicks were down thirteen points when Thibodeau decided to go with a lineup that featured Derrick Rose, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle , and Obi Toppin. It actually worked and the Knicks came back and pulled out a victory behind a Julius Randle game winner as time expired. Many Knick fans noticed how confident Obi Toppin looked on both ends of the floor. Toppin was filling the stat sheet on offense while providing solid rim protection. Knicks rookie Quentin Grimes also played a crucial role in the comeback victory. Grimes played pesky and physical perimeter defense while providing a clutch three pointer down the stretch to pull the Knicks within two points during the furious electrifying late fourth quarter comeback. Toppin and Grimes were crucial in the preseason finale victory at Madison Square Garden in front of a playoff atmosphere crowd.
The Knicks are Relentless and Deep.
My current prediction for the Knicks this upcoming season is 51-31. The Knicks are deep and young. Tom Thibodeau has a knack for overachieving with his rosters, and this current Knicks team is compatable with Thibs overall style on both ends of the floor from top to bottom. Many Feel the Knicks bench can compete with some NBA teams starting units with all due respect to the lottery bound.
Noticeable Improvement from Obi Toppin Plus Anticipation of Immanuel Quickley’s Second Year.
The two former rookies the Knicks drafted last season not only have a year under their belts, they also played summer league together alongside this seasons draft picks in Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, and Jericho Sims. Toppin continues to learn under phenomenal assistant coaches like Kenny Payne while Immanuel Quickley not only still develops his game with assistant coach Johnny Bryant, he now has Kemba Walker to learn from along with returning seasoned veteran and former MVP, Derrick Rose. Toppin and Quickley are both certified gym rats. Having guys like those on the bench is crucial and will definitely show on the Knicks future win/loss record.
Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker Tandem Could be Seriously Good.
The former Boston Celtics backcourt have proven offensive chemistry on paper. Many feel the current Knicks backcourt isn’t as talented defensively as last season due to the departure of Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock. However, it’s very possible for the offensive rating to boost upward tremendously due to superior chemistry, shooting, and playmaking from the current backcourt.
Alec Burks, Derrick Rose Stability in the Second Unit will be huge.
Derrick Rose and Alec Burks returning to the Knicks is a big deal. Knicks bench exudes compatibility on the offensive end. Three point shooting will be a huge part of the Knicks offense. Top teams in the league have excellent three point shooting, therefore, the Knicks possibly could be another top three point shooting squad. Solid free-throw shooting most likely will be on the horizon too. Closing games shouldn’t be an issue once the new additions get familiarized with one another under Tom Thibodeau’s system in a three point shooting league.
Overall, the Knicks have a chance to be a very dynamic offensive team without losing too much defensively. Field goal shooting and free throw shooting is crucial for top teams and the Knicks currently possess both skills on paper. Stability is a huge yet underrated factor as well. Many familiar faces pushes improvement from younger players especially if they’re gym rats, which they one hundred percent are. Teams like Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers have a potential for some turmoil this season. Depending upon how everything plays out, the Knicks are primed and ready for a conventional Tom Thibodeau type of season. 51-31 record is my bold prediction and I’m sticking by it.