One of the most storied franchises in NBA history is the New York Knicks. In 2012-2013, the Knicks finished with a record of 54-28 under Mike Woodson, losing to the Indiana Pacers in six games. Ever since then, the Knicks have finished in third place or lower in the Atlantic division missing out on the playoffs each of the last five season. Here are a few quick fixes that could help them in the long run.
Hire Mark Jackson
The Knicks have not had the right person at the helm since Jeff Van Gundy was coaching them. Jeff Hornacek hasa record of 58-99 in his two seasons, which could lead people to be believe they will be looking in another direction during the offseason. The hot name that should be at the top of New York’s coaching list is former player Mark Jackson. The Golden State Warriors hired him before the 2011 season. During his three seasons as Warriors coach, he compiled a record of 121-109. He has been out of the coaching circle for four years, but he is the right person moving forward. He would work well with the young players and show leadership on and off the court.
Build Around Kristaps Porzingis
Tim Hardaway Jr. returned to New York during the off-season after spending the last two seasons in Atlanta. THJ has averaged 18 points a game during the 2017 season with the Knicks after signing a four-year 71 million dollar deal. Michael Beasley signed a one-year deal with the Knicks in the offseason and has been very productive especially in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. Beasley is averaging 13 points a game including a season-high 30 points on November 25, 2017. Look for them to bring him back as he could be good assist to the Knicks moving forward.
On January 14, the team purchased the contract of former University of Michigan point guard Trey Burke from the Westchester Knicks of the G-League. Burke averaged 27 points and five assists in 26 games with Westchester. He has averaged 11 points and three assists in 28 games with New York including a career high 42 points against the Hornets. He is the first Knicks guard since Stephon Marbury in 2005 to score 40 plus points and have 10 or more assists in a game. Enes Kanter was traded to the Knicks in the Carmelo Anthony traded on September 25, 2017. He has been a double-double machine averaging 14 points and 11 boards a game. Having him and Kristaps in the frontcourt for the Knicks could a very hard tandem to deal with in the seasons to come.
Build Through The Draft
Last season the Knicks selected 6’5 point guard Frank Ntilikina out of Strasbourg, France. They have been in need of a pass first point guard like Ntilikina a point guard that can distribute the basketball down the court.
With the Knicks struggling, they are heading for another lottery pick. Here are few names to look out for that could be on New York’s draft board. Mikal Bridges, the 6’7 210-pound swingman, has averaged 18 points and five rebounds this season with the Villanova Wildcats. He has helping lead them to this year’s Final Four in San Antonio. Wendell Carter Jr. is a big man from Duke who had a very impressive freshman season averaging 14 points, nine rebounds, and was a big reason why Duke was able to advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Miles Bridges is a 6’7 230-pound forward out of Michigan State. He averaged 17 points, seven rebounds, and two assists during his sophomore season. Zhaire Smith, the 6’5 195-pound shooting guard from the Texas Tech Red Raiders, averaged 11 points, four rebounds, and guided them to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. Any of these four players could be the next building block for the Knicks.
Return the Passion to the Garden
Madison Square Garden is single handily the world’s most famous arena. The basketball fans in New York City are passionate especially when it comes to their beloved Knicks. They have loyal fans that have been there through thick and thin and will continue to be there. It is now up the Knicks to restore that passion and fire to the Garden with doing what it takes to contend again. If they are able to do all the things above, the Knicks will once again be the hot ticket in New York City. The Garden once again will be rocking with rabid fans and celebrities filling up MSG.