Before the 2022-23 season began, many predicted that the New York Knicks would be the same ol’ New York Knicks. Here we are in the All-Star break, and the Knicks have proven that they’re not the same as years past.
Not that fans need reminding, but New York finished with a 37-43 record in 2021-22 and missed the play-in tournament after securing the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference the season before. That prompted ESPN to predict that the Knicks would finish with only two more wins (39-43) in 2022-23 en route to the No. 10 seed in the conference.
With 22 games left to play this season, New York has a 33-27 record. For ESPN’s prediction to be correct, the Knicks will have to lose 16 of their remaining 22 games. Based on the trajectory that the team is headed on, that isn’t going to happen.
ESPN predicted Knicks would finish with a 39-43 record in 2022-23 season
When predicting how each team in the East would finish, ESPN wrote (subscription required):
Things might be looking up for Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks squad after they landed free agent guard Jalen Brunson, and chatter continues surrounding the prospects of Donovan Mitchell heading to Madison Square Garden via trade.
But it remains to be seen just how much better this team got over the summer. The Knicks hope Julius Randle can regain his All-Star form and that R.J. Barrett and young players, such as Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, continue to develop for a team that had high expectations heading into last season.
Well, it turns out that the Donovan Mitchell-Knicks trade never happened, but things have certainly been on the up thanks to Jalen Brunson signing a four-year contract in free agency. Julius Randle regained his All-Star form and truth be told, Brunson should be there in Salt Lake City with him this weekend.
RJ Barrett hasn’t performed as expected as he’s gone through what feels like a never-ending period of ups and downs, but Immanuel Quickley has undoubtedly had the best season of his young three-year career. As for Obi Toppin, he spent time sidelined with a non-displaced fracture in his right leg and has had to play behind Randle in yet another All-Star season.
ESPN, like many other news outlets, underestimated the impact that Brunson would have on the Knicks. The overpaid comments have quickly turned into questions about whether or not the point guard is actually underpaid.
New York is still in search of the star that the front office has been hoarding first-round picks for, but the current roster is pretty solid. The 2022-23 season could result in a playoff berth for the Knicks without having to go through the play-in tournament. Don’t say that we didn’t warn you!