Knicks roundtable: Did free agency make New York a playoff team?

New York Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Did the New York Knicks become a playoff team in free agency? The latest Daily Knicks roundtable looks at this topic.

The New York Knicks have not made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season, when Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler were some of the main pieces. Miserable years have followed, including two 17-65 records, but could change be ahead for 2020?

In the latest roundtable, the Daily Knicks staff looked at if free agency made New York a playoff team next April:

Jayson Kleinman: I’d say no, but it did make us a better team. Not that I encourage tanking, but this season is Year Two in the rebuild process, so I don’t think the post-season is the expectation. The Knicks have the best fans in the world, so if the team goes out and plays hard, and more importantly the fans see improvement, this year will be a success.

Matt Budkofsky: Absolutely not. The team certainly improved from last season, but it’s hard to envision a playoff run this soon. Head coach David Fizdale will get his guys to play hard and hopefully improve on last year’s win total.

Teresa Powe: In a word, definitely. Bobby Portis and Dennis Smith, Jr. are confident of it. Most fans are also and are anxiously waiting for the season to begin. With the new “bulldog” players, like Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Marcus Morris, the Knicks will not be pushed around on the court and can easily make seventh or eighth seed. Don’t be surprised if the Knicks make it up to the six seed.

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Although analysts predict the Knicks to have a season with slightly more wins than last year, this group of players have chips on their shoulders and are out to show the league that the New York Knicks are still the No. 1 team in New York City.

Anirudh Subramanian: The Knicks are not a playoff team. They are an improved team. Just in their own division, they have the Nets, Raptors, Celtics and Sixers, all playoff teams. The Knicks will finish fifth in the division but will have a better product on the court, which is all you can ask for at this point.

Michael Petreski: I don’t think so, the Eastern Conference has been the weaker conference for a while, but I feel there are six teams guaranteed to make the playoffs in the East, which leaves two open slots to a handful of teams.

I can’t see the Knicks being better than the Heat, Pistons, Magic, even the Hawks are still above the Knicks. There’s the chance everyone exceeds expectations but I can’t see it happening this year, and I’m not sure I’d want them too.

Rhys Smith: No. There are too many teams in the East better than them at this point. They don’t have enough star power yet. I put them at between 30-35 wins this year, which would be a big improvement from last year. The only way I see them maybe sneaking into the playoffs is be if their young prospects have breakout years and over-perform.

Eric Gonzalez:  With this roster, filled with young guys and vets who are hungry and deemed “underdogs,” they can win 38-42 games. In the Eastern Conference that will get you to the eighth or seventh seed. I think this is a real possibility for this team. They’re going to defend well, share the ball and will never be an easy loss. This team will fight every night and “heart” almost always gives you a chance to win some games.

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Rob Wolkenbrod: This is a better team than last season, but the East has talented groups floating around the fringe playoff area, that might be too strong to move past. Maybe the Knicks find surprise seasons from some of their free-agent signings and young players, but they need everything to come together perfectly to have a chance at becoming the eighth seed.