The New York Knicks are expected to win fewer than 30 games. Can David Fizdale’s crew prove the Las Vegas oddsmakers wrong?
On Sunday, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released their over/under wins projections for every team in the NBA. Fans, gamblers, and media members alike debate how they can beat the system. The New York Knicks came in with the fifth-worst figure at 29.5 wins.
That means New York is projected to have only four more wins then the Sacramento Kings.
Historically, Vegas hits within five games or so of each team’s success during the regular season. Can the Knicks prove Vegas and betters wrong this season by winning 30 or more games?
Marc Berman of The New York Post reported that Knicks head coach David Fizdale hasn’t committed to anyone in the starting line up as of yet. A team that finished last season with 53 losses is looking to shake things up in the rotation.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley projected the Knicks’ starting five to include Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kevin Knox, Mario Hezonja, and Enes Kanter.
Buckley explains that this lineup would allow the Knicks to develop their young players.
"The Knicks have to treat this as a rebuilding year with Porzingis on the shelf for at least the first half of the campaign, as the strategy will yield both more seasoning for their prospects and a better draft pick next summer. Hardaway and Kanter are potent enough scorers to ease the burden on the youngsters offensively, but they’ll also add to the generosity of this defense."
Nine players on the Knicks’ roster are 23 years of age or younger—most of whom should see action during the season. Veterans such as Lance Thomas (30) and Courtney Lee (33), if not traded, could see reduced minutes.
The youth movement for the Knicks could result in a painful and depressing season. If the aforementioned Lee is traded, that would provide minutes for players such as Damyean Dotson (24) and the recently signed Kadeem Allen (25).
It’s difficult to believe the Knicks could win games while developing players on the fly; not to mention their best player’s uncertain future.
Kristaps Porzingis, who recently celebrated his 23rd birthday, still has no timetable on his return to the team. Though in his documentary series he appears to be on track, Fizdale echoed the comments made by the front office about Porzingis’ return.
While speaking to the Latvian publication SportaCentrs.com, Fitzdale was quote as saying the following (h/t Stefan Bondy of The Los Angeles Times):
"“Nothing is clear. We said that the most important thing is to return to that level of feelings when he feels good, comfortable and when he feels it will be the right time to return to the court,” Fizdale said. “We must do everything right in order to prevent any risks.”"
Both Knicks owner James Dolan and colour commentator Walt “Clyde” Frazier have said they believe Porzingis will miss the entire season. If the Knicks decide to hold their franchise player out for the season, then the idea of winning more then 30 games is that of an idea.
Even if Porzingis is ready to play and given the blessing of the team to do so, he still needs time to catch up to the game and how the team is playing. Even with Porzingis playing at an All-Star level, the Knicks were still outside of playoff contention in 2017-18.
2012-13 was the last time the New York Knicks were in the postseason. It appears Knick fans will have to wait a bit longer before the curse is broken.