The 2022-23 regular season will begin in a couple of weeks, but there’s been little to no buzz about the New York Knicks. In a challenging division and conference, the Knicks have been overlooked, and that theme continued in the annual NBA App GM Survey that was released on Tuesday.
It’s understandable why the Knicks were referenced only a total of four times in the survey. New York got better during the offseason even without trading for Donovan Mitchell and while the Knicks should finish better than last season’s 37-45 record, New York still has a good ways to go before being considered one of the top teams in the league.
RJ Barrett didn’t hold back on Media Day when he said that the Knicks are going to “shock the world” in 2022-23 and he followed that up this past weekend by saying that he feels as if New York “can do something special.” That could end up being true, but for now, the Knicks aren’t at the forefront of the minds of NBA GMs.
Knicks have the perfect opportunity to garner attention in 2022-23
Jalen Brunson’s name appeared twice in the survey. NBA GMs were asked which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact this season and seven percent of them listed Brunson. He finished behind Donovan Mitchell (59%) and Rudy Gobert (31%). The point guard also received votes in regards to active players that will make the best head coach someday. Chris Paul led that category with 32% of the votes.
Brunson was the only Knicks player to be recognized, but it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see RJ Barrett’s name under the question about which player is most likely to have a breakout season. Evan Mobley received 21% of the votes, Cade Cunningham and Anthony Edwards received 17% of the votes, and Zion Williamson received 14%. Barrett wasn’t even included amongst the other players that received votes, meaning that no GM believes that he’s the most likely player in the league to have a breakout year.
Barrett’s name has been excluded from multiple conversations, but especially now that he’s signed a four-year extension, the 22-year-old could shock more than NBA GMs with how he performs in 2022-23.
Outside of Brunson, Tom Thibodeau was given recognition in the survey after he received seven percent of the votes for being the head coach with the best defensive schemes. Erik Spoelstra led the way with 34% of the votes and Nick Nurse received 31%. The Knicks’ defense in 2020-21 is what propelled them to a fourth-place finish in the East, but their defense was one of the low points last season. Let’s see if Thibodeau can get New York back on the right track in 2022-23, and yes, that includes starting Quentin Grimes over Evan Fournier.
Unsurprisingly, the Knicks received seven percent of votes for having the best home-court advantage in the league. The Toronto Raptors led the way with 21% of the votes, the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets tied for 17%, and the Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz received 14% of the votes.
Last season, New York finished 17-24 at Madison Square Garden, but the year before that, the Knicks finished 25-11 at MSG. Hopefully, this season, the team’s home record will mirror what it was two seasons ago.
As Brunson said, the Knicks know that people are doubting them, but what the team can control is how they play. New York’s 2022-23 season officially got off to a start on Monday night in the preseason opener against the Detroit Pistons, but the real work begins on Oct. 19 in Memphis. Let’s see if the Knicks will be able to prove people wrong along the way in 2022-23.