Top 5 Reasons For The New York Knicks Successful Season

New York Knicks (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Derrick Rose, Ale Burks, Knicks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Knicks have a ton of depth

I gave this a lot of thought. I am confident in saying that the depth and bench play of the New York Knicks this season is the most important reason why they were a formidable team every night and successful in making the playoffs.

As Randle said, they’ve got a Big 15.

Just think about how many afternoons and nights where Derrick Rose and or Alec Burks were the heroes? The dynamic bench duo has been two of our best clutch performers, if not the two best outright. Each pours in points while handling the ball and setting up teammates. Both of these skills take tremendous pressure off of the heavily used Julius Randle.

How about the rookie duo? Immanuel Quickley in many games has also been a revelation, a refreshing breath of air for Knicks fans every time he’s subbed in, and not just when he is in for Elfrid Payton. Obi Toppin was shaky at times but really seemed to come into his own as the season wound down. He finally began to make good on his limited appearances.

Who could forget that Nerlens Noel was the backup center for 29 of the Knicks’ first several games. There were only two games in which he and Mitchell Robinson played where Robinson wasn’t the starter. Noel was just as effective off the bench as he was as the starter. Without him to make up for the loss of Robinson, our season could’ve looked drastically different. We could all be speaking with British accents right now… or more realistically, Andre Drummond could be a Knick.

Alright, I just swallowed the little bit of vomit that came up having written that. We’re good to keep going now.

Taj Gibson stepped up in Robinson’s absence as well. He went from the 3rd string center to playing 20 minutes a night. Gibson perfectly utilized his opportunities, providing stability, just as he does in the locker room.

Speaking of locker room presence, everybody loves Theo Pinson! The guy oozes enthusiasm. He’s an incredible teammate, and it shows on every possession. He might always be in a mask, but if the jumping and fist-pumping didn’t give it away, his eyes say it all. He genuinely loves not playing a single minute because he wants just to be there rooting for his brothers.

Heck, even Kevin Knox inspired fans during the early days of the season. Knox couldn’t miss a corner three if his life depended on it. His shooting was a true difference-maker in many wins. And of course, Frank Ntilikina was always there, waiting for his opportunity to make the fanbase grin from ear to ear seeing the French Prince go all out on defense. And sometimes, he would provide the rare but undeniable adrenaline rush on an occasional no-look pass, picked-pocket-turned-fast-break, or even clutch spot up 3 point jumper.

And it would be a felony if I didn’t briefly acknowledge the coaching depth. Having Mike Woodson back while only for a couple of months was exhilarating for fans and the players alike. Kenny Payne was another huge influence on Randle’s stellar season.

He also clearly had an impact on players who weren’t former Kentucky Wildcats. Payne received immense praise early on by everyone, including the MSG media. And Johnnie Bryant has had his praises song by players around the NBA, most notably by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for his time in Portland.  With coaches like these, no wonder this team improved so drastically.

Say what you want about Randle and Thibodeau being bigger for New York this year. They were giants among those who brought this franchise back to glory. However, the depth of this year’s Knicks team was simply too immense to not be IMO the top reason for their success.

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