Last season, fans saw the New York Knicks have their most successful season since 2012-13. Not only did the Knicks win 47 games, but they also made it to the second round and were two wins away from making their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 1999.
However, heading into 2023-24, the Knicks must make a few changes to be their best selves in a key season. Some will have a significant role in how the Knicks play on either side of the ball, and others will be minor changes for the betterment of the team. Hopefully, Tom Thibodeau will be able to do the right things for the sake of New York.
3 adjustments the Knicks should make heading into the 2023-24 season
3. Experimenting with smaller lineups
With the loss of Obi Toppin, the Knicks currently don’t have a backup power forward in the rotation. Some believe Isaiah Roby is the man to play the position, but if Thibodeau wants to be serious about contending, playing Roby isn’t the best idea. The Knicks should either sign a power forward who is a better fit or run smaller lineups.
As nice as it would be to see New York sign a player like JaMychal Green, it’s more likely than not that the Knicks look to solve the problem within the current roster. This inevitably means that fans will see players like Josh Hart or RJ Barrett play some minutes at the four.
While it wouldn’t be successful at a sustainable rate, we’d still like to see Thibs get into his lineup bag by running Hart or Barrett at power forward while also sliding Julius Randle down to center at times. This entirely depends on the team the Knicks are playing, but it could have success considering how poor of a spacing team New York has been.
A lineup of Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Quentin Grimes, Barrett/Hart, and Randle could be very efficient from range, which is exactly what the Knicks need. Last season, Randle played four percent of his minutes at center and seven percent of his minutes there in 2021-22. It may not occur often, but Randle isn’t a stranger to the center position, and Thibs could take advantage of this in certain situations.
If Thibodeau can properly run these lineups at the correct times and against the right teams, things could get exciting. The Knicks have arguably one of the most versatile teams in the NBA, and there’s no reason for Thibodeau not to take advantage of it.