Villanova legend believes Knicks can do what was once unthinkable in playoffs

High praise from an all-time great.

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Over the past couple of years, the New York Knicks have had a big-time strategy that's already paid off: sign/trade for Villanova players. Okay, maybe that wasn't New York's main priority, but even Leon Rose can't deny that three former Wildcats, particularly Jalen Brunson, have changed the organization's trajectory.

Brunson earned his first All-Star nod this season and is well on his way to making an All-NBA team. Donte DiVincenzo is having a career year, averaging 14.3 points on 40% shooting from three. Josh Hart does the dirty work that doesn't show up in the box score. He made New York his long-term home after signing a four-year extension during the offseason.

Those three Knicks, including others like Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, have produced the best basketball that New York fans have seen in years. Injuries have gotten in the way, but if the Knicks enter the playoffs at full strength, their ceiling will be higher than the second round. It's been 24 years since the team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but that could change in a few months.

Former Villanova head coach Jay Wright believes New York can take it further than the ECF and make it to the NBA Finals. It's been 25 years since the Knicks have made it to basketball's biggest stage.

Jay Wright believes New York Knicks have shot to win NBA title

USA Today's Tony Anderson interviewed Wright, who said it's "so much fun" to watch his former Wildcats play for the Knicks. When it comes to what the rest of the season could hold for New York, Wright said:

"They're contending. I think they got a great shot in the East to play for an NBA championship. Obviously, you got to get by the Celtics and Milwaukee, but I think they're going to play good enough basketball and playoff basketball to do it."

Jay Wright, via USA Today

Wright knows what it takes to win a championship. As head coach, he led Villanova to six BIG EAST conference championships and two national championships (2016, 2018). Brunson and DiVincenzo were with Wright for both national titles, while Hart was there in 2016 before being drafted in 2017.

Of course, Knicks fans hope that Wright's prediction turns out to be true. It would be surreal to watch the Knicks play for their third NBA title in June. This squad has been a dream come true for a team that sat at the bottom of the barrel for so long!

Next. 20 People who turned their backs on the Knicks. 20 People who turned their backs on the Knicks. dark