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Are the Knicks the Hottest Team in the League?

Are the Knicks the Hottest Team in the League?

As of Thursday, the New York Knicks hold the largest current win streak in the league. That win streak is eight games. They also hold the number four seed in the Eastern Conference.

Prior to the start of the season, no one predicted the Knicks to be this good. There’s a lot of contributors toward their success. Some of them include Julius Randle, Tom Thibodeau, rookie success and a strong bench.

The New York Knicks might not be the laughingstock of the league anymore, at least for now.

Star Success

Julius Randle was a first-time all-star this year. He’s gotten plenty of credit, which is well deserved. However, it wasn’t always sunshine and roses for Randle. His announced signing with the Knicks came days after Kevin Durant signed with Brooklyn.

Are the Knicks the Hottest Team in the League?
Image Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Knicks fans were ticked, to say the least. To add insult to injury, they also announced the signing of Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis. How many forwards does a team need?

Fast forward two years later and look where the Knicks are now. One of the top teams in the east.

As much credit as Julius Randle deserves, there’s other players who deserve the spotlight too. Rookie Immanuel Quickly has been a surprise this year. He’s easily one of the top rookies in the 2020 draft class.

Another underrated pick up for New York was the trade for Derrick Rose before the deadline. Rose provides needed veteran leadership, along with a great scoring boost off the bench. The trio of Rose, Thibodeau and Gibson is a good throwback to the days in Chicago.

The Knicks’ Odds in the Playoffs

It’s almost certain the Knicks will make the playoffs unless they have a monumental collapse. If they playoffs were to start today, New York would face Atlanta in the opening round.

For the Knicks, that would be a dream scenario. At this point in the season, New York has faced Atlanta three times, and has won all three. The scores in those games are 113-108, 123-112 and 137-127 (OT).

Are the Knicks the Hottest Team in the League?
Image Courtesy of theknickswall.com

The opening series would be a dream scenario for the Knicks. Seeing how they did against the Hawks in the regular season, that series would go six games at most.

That would mean the Eastern Conference semifinal would be between the Knicks and the 76ers most likely. Now that match-up would be difficult for New York. They’ve lost all three games against Philly in the regular season, so beating them in the playoffs won’t happen.

The Knicks probably won’t make it past the second round of the playoffs; however, their season has been the biggest success story in the NBA this year. From being one of the worst franchises in the league, to making a complete 180 out of nowhere is surprising. The Knicks are finally on the rise.

The Future is Bright in the Big Apple

This season could very well be the turning point in Knicks’ franchise history, or it couldn’t be. It’s hard to tell, but here’s what is known:

  • The Knicks have found their head coach.
  • Julius Randle is a star
  • New York has a viable young core to build around or use in trades in the future

All of these factors are a big help in change the culture in New York. Besides the city itself, these factors can be very attractive for future free agents.

The immediate future is bright for the Knicks, and that’s proven in the fact that they will most likely make the playoffs. As for the distant future, it’s still unknown whether this season will change the franchise. All Knick fans can do is wait.

All stats were taken from ESPN.com and basketballreference.com.

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