20220925 192708

The Knicks can’t afford another lost season.

thehourlynews 2 weeks ago 0
20220925 192708

RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks reacts against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on April 8, 2022 in Washington, DC.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading or using this photograph, user agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks finally have their franchise point guard.

Jalen Brunson was signed to a four-year, $104 million deal to provide some stability in the first.

New York has been desperate for a steady presence at the lead guard position for most of the last decade.

Bringing Brunson on board will ease some of the load placed on RJ Barrett and Julius Randle on the offensive end.

Barrett, Randle and Immanuel Quickley will no longer need to fill a role that is not their natural position.

With the addition of Brunson, the Knicks will now have playoff expectations.

One appearance in the game won’t be enough even in a strong Eastern Conference.

The Knicks can’t afford to continue wasting seasons like a team that made the playoffs once since 2012-13.

Recent Knicks history

The 2000s have been a dark time for a storied franchise like the New York Knicks.

They made the playoffs every year of the 1990s, reaching the NBA Finals twice and the Conference Finals four times.

If it wasn’t for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Patrick Ewing and the Knicks might have won a ring or two in that time.

It’s been a different story since the turn of the century.

The Knicks made the playoffs just six times in the 2000s, compiling a 10-25 record.

They got past the first round once and won less than one game in four trips to the playoffs.

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New York has employed 14 head coaches and only three of them have a winning record.

Tom Thibodeau was apparently the right hire in his first year.

The Knicks went 41-31 and had the stingiest defense in the league.

They earned home field advantage in the first round as the fourth seed against the Atlanta Hawks.

However, the good vibes would quickly end as Trae Young and the Hawks dispatched the Knicks in five games.

New York went 37-45 last season as an encore to its playoff appearance from 2012-13.

The defense fell to sixth-best in the league, while the offense held steady at 26th in the NBA.

After a promising 2020-21 season, the Knicks disappointed last year.

Going forward

It’s time for the Knicks to move up the ranks in the Eastern Conference.

They had a pretty decent offseason with Brunson as the main addition.

He was joined by Isaiah Hartenstein, as well as Mitchell Robinson, Jericho Sims and Barrett, all three of whom re-signed.

Derrick Rose, Randle and Cam Reddish will return from injury.

And they picked up four future first-round picks on draft night.

They couldn’t use those picks to bring in Donovan Mitchell, but now they’re available for the next star to be made available.

But it’s up to the Knicks to become a destination the stars want to go to.

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Continually missing the playoffs won’t make them attractive to players looking to win now.

Thibodeau will need to make the most of his rotation as he continues to develop young players like Quickley, Obi Toppin, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes.

The Eastern Conference is stronger and deeper than it has been in recent memory.

But the Knicks can’t afford to keep missing the playoffs.

Their young guys need playoff experience and they need to show players around the league that they can win in New York.

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