Where do the Knicks fall in the East’s pecking order?
Jaime C. Harris | 10/11/2018, 2:28 p.m. | Updated on 10/11/2018, 2:28 p.m.
Already, many Knicks fans starving for a winning season are texting, emailing or calling this writer expressing optimism regarding the Knicks’ prospects this upcoming season. They are basing their projections on the Knicks’ preseason performances, in which the team is 3-1with one more game remaining tomorrow night (Friday) at Madison Square Garden versus the Brooklyn Nets before the start of the regular season next Wednesday versus the Atlanta Hawks at the Garden.
Most of the opinions and perspectives are overly bullish. Some of the communications sent to me or discussed have the Knicks finishing in the top eight in the Eastern Conference, which would place them in the playoffs at the conclusion of the regular season for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. But if the Knicks were a stock they would currently be at a moderate level.
Their potential for growth is encouraging, with promising rookie Kevin Knox at the core of the fans’ excitement. Yet they are still at least a season away from being a contender for a postseason spot, with the centerpiece of their future, Kristaps Prozingis, out for most, if not all, of the upcoming campaign recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.
Talk of making a trade for a big name player—such as Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who is doing everything within his power to force his way off his current team— this season to bolster their chances of making the playoffs has been dismissed by the Knicks’ hierarchy.
Before the beginning of training camp last month, at a town hall forum with select season ticket holders, Scott Perry reiterated they will stay the course during the rebuilding process. “Our main focus is the ’18-’19 season,” said the team’s general manager. “As much as we talked about having cap space, we are trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. This team requires our undivided attention. I understand fans drifting to the future. Part of my job and Steve’s job is to stay grounded. We’ll deal with that class next summer when that arises.’’
The Knicks will have many growing pains this season, but with a solid foundation being established, the future is as bright as it has been in a decade.