The time is finally upon us. Training camp starts on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and we finally will get a first look at this season’s team. The 2022-23 New York Knicks look very similar, retaining most of the players from 2021-22. Key additions include Isaiah Hartenstein and Jalen Brunson, while Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Kemba Walker were traded to the Detroit Pistons.
Expectations this season are low, with the perception being that this team will be in the play-in tournament at best. Many fans would agree with that opinion, given that a majority of the playoff teams in the Eastern Conference have improved. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t hopeful for better, and training camp offers us the opportunity to get a better sense of what this team is capable of.
There are several question marks going into the season. It’s an uncertainty that has some fans feeling apprehensive about the season and the direction that the team is going in. Training camp will hopefully answer some of these questions and put fans more at ease. Let’s discuss four things Knicks fans hope to learn from training camp.
4 questions Knicks fans want to be answered at training camp
1. How does Jalen Brunson gel with his new teammates?
On June 30, the first day of free agency, news broke that Jalen Brunson was signing a four-year, $104 million contract with the New York Knicks after spending the first four years of his career with the Dallas Mavericks. The news was met with a mixed response from Knicks fans, some (including myself) were worried that they had overpaid the 26-year-old out of Villanova.
Regardless of the reception, the addition was sorely needed, as the Knicks finally end their decade-long point guard search. Brunson, who is the son of assistant coach Rick Brunson, was taken with the 33rd overall pick in the 2018 draft and has improved every season. He had his breakout season last year, posting career-high marks in several statistics including points per game, and he helped the Mavericks reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011.
Training camp is where we’ll see Brunson interacting with his Knicks teammates on the court for the first time, and we’ll see what he can bring out of his teammates. Brunson has exceptional skills when it comes to scoring and playmaking, which are sure to help a Knicks team that was dead last in assists per game last year.
Brunson is expected to be given the keys to New York’s offense, which will certainly have some affect on the play of fellow stars RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. Whether Brunson’s play will negatively or positively affect their play remains to be seen. However, all indications point to it affecting them positively, as Brunson played alongside Luka Doncic, which means he’s used to being productive even when he isn’t dominating the ball.
Brunson’s abilities will also take some playmaking pressure off Randle, who at times tried too hard to get players involved, resulting in unforced turnovers. One thing is for sure, Brunson is the best point guard the Knicks have had in quite some time, and that alone is a positive going forward.