Bobby Tuzzio ’20
Chief Sports Editor
The expectations weren’t too high for the New York Knicks’ 2019-2020 season. However, there was some optimism. As disastrous as this summer’s free agency was for the Knicks, they did pick up a few players, including Marcus Morris Sr. and Julius Randle. Morris had some solid years on some good Celtics teams. When he’s at his best, he’s a very effective player, same with Randle. I’ve always liked Julius Randle. His game has gotten better every single season. The problem with Randle, to me, is that he has never been on a good enough team. So far, five years into his career, Randle has played for the Lakers and the Pelicans. In his one season with the Pelicans, he posted career highs in areas such as PPG and minutes. Unfortunately, the Knicks is not a step up for Randle. Down the line, if the Knicks get magically better, or he moves to a much better team, the twenty-four year old has a chance to become a very solid NBA player.
Also this offseason, the Knicks drafted Duke guard RJ Barrett. Of course, it was viewed as a consolation prize, as the Knicks were really hoping to get the number one overall pick to draft Zion Williamson. But hey, it could have been worse: the Knicks almost lost out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie that summer. Oh wait, they did.
Still, even if it is a consolation prize, Barrett has superstar potential. Right now, he currently is near the top in PPG, RPG, and APG amongst all rookies in the NBA. His shooting is still seen as a concern, but he’s an explosive finisher at the rim. If there’s any saving grace this season, it’s that RJ Barrett will show signs that he is going to be the future star of the franchise. And so far, he’s been doing a pretty good job.
All in all, however, the Knicks have been an utter disaster to start the season, and a few players have been noticeable disappointments. To me, Kevin Knox has been a bit of a disappointment. After being taken 9th overall by the Knicks in last years draft, like most rookies, he had a decent-enough season. So far this season, he hasn’t shown much just yet. However, I wouldn’t give up on Knox. He’s only twenty years old, and definitely has the skill and physical attributes to become an NBA star.
Frank Ntilikina has really disappointed me so far, not just this season, but his whole career. He hasn’t made dramatic improvements to his game over the last two years, and he’s starting to look more and more like a bust. Again, like Knox, Ntilikina is still really young, so maybe he’ll develop. But right now, he’s hasn’t shown much at all.
Other than Barrett, center Mitchell Robinson has shown the most potential so far. He had a really strong rookie season, culminating in being named to the All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season. He is a blocking machine; he finished second in the NBA last season in most blocks per game. He is also a strong finisher at the rim. So far, out of all the players on the Knicks roster, Robinson has impressed me the most.
With all this said, the Knicks have one of the worst records in the NBA. Expect them and a couple of other noticeably teams to fight it out for the worst record in the NBA throughout this whole season. While the booes at Madison Square and possible coaching change rumors have been the highlight so far this season, my question is: did anyone really expect the Knicks to be any good this season? Before the start of the season, I predicted that they would win only 20 games, and they might not even do that! The problem, it seems, is the Knicks management. James Dolan, the Knicks owner, has made a mockery of the Knicks, . Their general manager Scott Perry and their president Steve Mills haven’t really done anything to alleviate the franchise. Also, their head coach David Fizdale has not once yet proven that he is a good head coach. In short, everyone is to blame for the Knicks’ woes. If change doesn’t happen soon, expect more embarrassing play for not only the rest of this season, but for the coming years.