Questions Loom Around Knicks 2018-2019 Season: Will They Tank?
There is one great thing about low expectations, they are easy to exceed. And expectations for the Knicks in 2018/19 are low indeed. Vegas and the best betting sites only have the Knickerbockers projected to win 29.5 games on the season, so check their reviews before placing any action.
How will David Fizdale’s Knicks fare this season? There are already rumors of a full-on tank campaign waiting for Knicks fans this year. Tanking is hard on the heart … but when it’s fully embraced, is it really that bad? Losing with a goal in mind is bearable. Take the 76ers for example; they are likely to be playoff bound again.
A Look At The Offseason
Whether the Knicks purposefully tank or not, this is the beginning of a complete and total rebuild. Despite what some may think, the offseason has been far from quiet.
The organization completely swapped out the coaching staff, which was probably the loudest series of moves. But not only did the Knicks draft Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, but they picked up Alonzo Trier and Isaiah Hicks on steals of two-way deals. Trier has sleeper potential to become a star in the NBA. This creates a core of super-talent to build around.
Kristaps Porzingis will most likely be out until Christmas, but the squad picked up Mario Hezonja from the Magic and Noah Vonlah from the Trailblazers as band-aids for the bleeding Kristaps wound that the team is experiencing and resigned Luke Kornet for some depth at Center. Kadeem Allen was snatched up from the Celtics for added youth at the guard position.
So, it doesn’t feel like all hope has been abandoned. It feels like the Knicks will try to win while rebuilding. And although the Knicks sit behind Philadelphia, Toronto, and Boston on the odds boards to win the Atlantic, the team isn’t at the bottom. That role still belongs to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Knicks have now seen 11 coaches since Jeff Van Gundy and Get Up! called Fizdale the ‘hottest coach on the market’ during their May interview with him. He has a lot to prove, and he’s saying all of the things that we want to hear: play defense, develop the younger players, make sure that the organization doesn’t skip steps to get to long term winning.
When you analyze the situation, it’s doubtful that he would have taken the job with the Knicks if he thought he was going to be asked to lose intentionally. After just a one year stint at Memphis, it could seriously damage his career to throw in the towel immediately in New York. So we should expect Fizdale to come out and put forth the best effort that he’s capable of.
A Hard Road
According to the BBall Index, the New York Knicks are looking the 5th toughest schedule in the League. The Knicks are also tied for the most back-to-backs in the league at 15.
Top 5 Toughest Schedules in 2018-2019
Portland Trail Blazers
New York Knicks
The season opener is against one of the league’s worst, in the Atlanta Hawks, and then there is some fair competition in an all NYC battle against division rivals, the Brooklyn Nets, but it quickly becomes a gauntlet of hard-fought games against the Celtics, the Bucks, the Heat, and the Warriors. But it’s against the weaker teams early on that we should see the true intentions of the organization for the season.
If the Knicks win more than 35.4% of their games, it will be an improvement. And that’s really what we want to see as Knicks fans: improvement.