1: Underrated starpower
There were questions about how Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle would fare on the same team, and it couldn’t have worked out much better than it did in 2022-23. Brunson blossomed into a star and made the game easier for Randle, the Knicks’ already-established star.
Randle was New York’s only player to be named an All-Star, and he added another All-NBA title to go along with it. His regular season success hasn’t translated to the playoffs, but his ankle injury that required surgery in the offseason should be considered when looking at his 2023 postseason numbers.
In an interview earlier in the week, Tom Thibodeau said Randle’s good to go for the start of the year. The Knicks should be able to secure another playoff berth, and if the forward can stay healthy, he could redeem himself in 2024.
Brunson has his off nights like every other player, but he’s New York’s most consistent player. He was the lone bright spot in the series against Miami that was uglier than expected.
Before last season, several fans didn’t think Brunson had what it takes to be a star in today’s NBA. A large part of that was because he played behind Luka Doncic in Dallas for four seasons, but for those who were paying attention, especially in the 2022 playoffs, it was easy to see that Brunson could lead a team.
Until the Knicks make a move for their long-awaited star, it will continue to be the Brunson and Randle Show at MSG. New York hasn’t had two players be named All-Star since 2012-13 (Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler), but that should change this season.