The 2021 – 22 NBA season didn’t go in response to plan for the Recent York Knicks. After a surprise run to the playoffs, expectations within the Big Apple was high. Many expected the team to construct off of that season and take baby steps to becoming a real contender again. As an alternative, the Knicks did the exact opposite of this.
The Knicks regressed in some ways within the 2021-22 season. Breakout stars from the previous season returned to their previous mediocre forms. Their free agent signings struggled to make an impact on the team. It was, by all accounts, a disaster of a season, especially after the expectations set for them by the fans.
Heading into training camp, the Knicks can be facing a ton of questions surrounding this team. Let’s take a have a look at a few of these questions.
3. Will Jalen Brunson be definitely worth the hefty price tag for the Knicks?
The largest move that the Knicks did within the 2022-23 offseason is their signing of Jalen Brunson. After an incredible playoff run, the previous Dallas Mavericks guard was heavily sought-after by Recent York in free agency. With virtually no other competitors, the team signed him to an enormous four-year, $104 million contract.
Jalen Brunson will definitely be scrutinized by the Knicks fanbase from the beginning of coaching camp. The team handed him a hefty contract, in spite of everything: fans are going to need to see big numbers from him. He had solid numbers in his only yr as a full-time starter, averaging 16.3 points on healthy shooting splits while also having 4.8 assists. Keep in mind, though, that that is with him playing alongside Luka Doncic. In Recent York, Brunson can be expected to shoulder a much bigger load on offense.
The expectations are sky-high for Jalen Brunson in Recent York. If he falters to begin the season, expect the “overpaid” chatter to begin up.
2. Can RJ Barrett improve upon his breakout season?
RJ Barrett was easily one of the best player the Knicks had last season. After years of playing so-so basketball, the Duke product emerged as the highest threat for the team last season. His three-point stroke, paired along with his slashing ability, has made him a really dangerous prospect. He even showed flashes of great playmaking and defense, which is a terrific sign.
The query now for the Knicks is whether or not this performance from RJ Barrett is one of the best that it may well possibly be. Barrett’s efficiency numbers took a slight hit last season, but that was mostly on account of him getting used to being the lead man for the team. In training camp, the Knicks are hoping that Barrett can proceed improving his game with an increased workload. If he’s successful in getting his efficiency back to 2020 levels while keeping the identical amount of touches in 2021, then he’ll undoubtedly be the king of Recent York.
Perhaps RJ Barrett can use his inclusion within the Knicks’ failed trade for Donovan Mitchell as motivation. Will he prove that the team is healthier off with him because the lead guard.
1. What version of Julius Randle will the Knicks get?
The last two seasons of Julius Randle with the Knicks has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde situation. In 2020, we saw All-Star Julius Randle, who heroically led Recent York to the playoffs. He improved his scoring from all three levels, shattering the low expectations set for him within the season. Even after a miserable playoff series, fans expected that this version of Randle will remain as their pillar.
As an alternative, Randle regressed big-time within the Knicks’ 2021-22 season. His field-goal percentage was the worst it’s ever been since his first season within the league. His three-point shooting fell off a cliff. Suddenly, Recent York’s offensive engine was sputtering and struggling. His reactions to the cruel Madison Square Garden crowd didn’t help matters.
With the Knicks training camp looming within the horizon, fans are wondering which version of Randle will the team get this season. Recent York doesn’t actually need their former All-Star to be the first focus of the offense again. Last season showed that RJ Barrett would do well as a secondary facilitator for the team. Jalen Brunson was also brought in specifically to ease the load off of Randle’s shoulders. Perhaps the lessened pressure on him would help him rediscover his game.
The Knicks are coming into the 2022 season with quite a bit more questions than those we’ve listed here. Will the team redeem themselves after falling flat on their faces last yr? Or will they prove that their playoff run in 2020 was merely a fluke?