Aside from two new additions in free agency, the New York Knicks roster for the upcoming 2022-23 season will be the same as it was last season. I probably don’t have to tell you that this is a bit concerning since last year’s team proved to be a disappointment, to put it lightly.
Replacing Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel with Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein is certainly a welcome change, but it isn’t likely to be enough of a difference maker. Burks was the only one of those three players who had a prominent role in the rotation. Even those of us who are high on Brunson and Hartenstein’s talents have to admit that they don’t add enough value to lift the Knicks above a play-in tournament level.
The two most significant causes of the team’s underwhelming 2021-22 campaign were: 1). The regression/poor performance of several players and 2). The improved depth/strength of the Eastern Conference. The latter will certainly remain to be the status quo, as not only have most teams that finished ahead of New York last year gotten better or stayed about the same (aside from the Charlotte Hornets), but every other team (besides the Indiana Pacers) in the East have seemingly improved as well.
Knicks players need to show improvement in 2022-23
This isn’t to suggest that I think the Knicks are doomed to be a bottom three team in their conference, but what I am saying is that their competition in a playoff hunt remains stiff; it may have even gotten tougher.
Therefore, if the Knicks are going to have a bounce-back season while essentially running it back with the same squad, then they must see growth from many members of the team. And even if they don’t ultimately attain playoff positioning, this is a very young team so we should expect nothing less than positive development to some extent for each individual.
In this article, I will be highlighting the one area of each player’s game that I think they need to improve on during the 2022-23 season. I won’t be discussing Miles McBride, Feron Hunt, Trevor Keels, or Jericho Sims since the rotation is clogged up enough. Those players are simply unlikely to get much playing time, even with potential injuries.
To start, we will look at New York’s guards.