Julius Randle and co have been on a tear, which means the Knicks are back in the playoffs. Shaquille O’Neal still found a way to rub it in.
The Inside crew recently discussed the Knicks’ recent resurgence. While Candace Parker was upbeat about them, Shaq asked the panel to pump the brakes on the team.
“Why is Candace making faces? Say that they’ve been terrible last year. They got to get home-court advantage, stop it… to be back… They’re good, but they’re not back. You don’t get the back towel until you get through the first round of the playoffs.”
“This puts 5th, 6th, 7th with that talent, but to impress me, get through the first round… The way they’re playing, they step up to the fourth, and I’ll be like, okay, the Knicks are back.”
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How good are the Knicks, really?
The New York Knicks haven’t posted a winning record since 2012-13. They had Carmelo Anthony’s services for nearly 7 years, but only made the playoffs thrice.
It’s been a depressing century overall for this franchise, for whom the high point was arguably the Linsanity period. But it seems that the days of playoff basketball are headed back to Madison Square Garden, and the league is all the better for it.
However, things have started looking up over the past 2 seasons. They’ve drafted decently well – although the likes of Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina look like busts. Yet, they have young talent in droves.
Tom Thibodeau’s arrival has galvanized them no end on the defensive end. It is indeed the former Bulls coach’s forte – getting his team to play hard, buy in and exert defensive effort.
Julius Randle has obviously been the star of the show, but there is more to this Knicks team than him. They have 2 good young defensive centers in Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel, who complement Randle relatively well.
Their guard rotation of RJ Barrett, Elfrid Payton, Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley has also been quite outperforming expectations. This team can officially be declared ‘spooky’, though they are in clear need of a real superstar to progress to the next level.