A year ago, the Knicks were the hottest team in the league, winning the championship with a record of 31-11 and winning the NBA title with a 29-9 record.
Now, the team is in the middle of the Western Conference’s best record with a 17-11 record and is the only team in that group to win the East’s No. 1 seed.
So what is it about this team that has made it through the season unscathed?
What has made them so good?
Here are 10 reasons why the Knicks are finally back in the NBA playoff picture: 1.
They have a young nucleus They had a pretty good nucleus in place.
The Knicks have two All-Stars in Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah, and they have two other guys who are still young, namely Jrue Holiday and Amare Stoudemire.
The team also has the veteran leadership of Derrick Rose, who was acquired from the Nets, along with a number of players from previous seasons who have been in the organization for a few seasons.
They also have a talented bench, including two guys who could be playoff-caliber players: J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. This core could give the Knicks a run for their money in 2019-20, when they have the opportunity to be the No. 3 seed and potentially win a playoff series.
It is hard to imagine them falling out of the playoff race this season, but they could be one of the most exciting teams in the Eastern Conference.
They’re ready to go It is easy to think that the Knicks have had a lot of time to think about their playoff fate this season.
After a season in which they finished second in the West with a 37-28 record, they were eliminated from the playoffs in five games, and were left without a franchise cornerstone.
It was a difficult time for the Knicks, but the team has shown a lot this season and they will be ready to get back to work and win games in 2019.
They won’t be afraid to go to war New York has been a team that plays its heart out every night.
There is a reason the team finished the season as the top seed in the East.
The Nets beat the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs last season and have won the past two meetings between the teams, including a 103-94 win in the Garden on Jan. 6.
They will be no different this season with a young core and a healthy Noah, who is in his sixth season and will be 30 years old in the summer.
They should have the best chance to make a run at a first-round series against the Celtics.
The players are in the right place They have had to adjust to a new culture in Brooklyn.
The organization is no longer the traditional, all-dominant basketball operation that it once was.
The rebuilding plan has been spearheaded by the front office, led by head coach Mike Woodson.
The new coaching staff has added a lot to the roster this offseason.
The bench has been improved, as has the starting lineup.
Noah, Holiday and Derrick Rose are all playing at a higher level.
It makes it easier to win, especially when you have an elite scorer in Anthony.
It will be a challenge for them to win without Carmelo The Knicks won the championship last season with Carmelo as their star, and he is expected to be back next season, though he will have to miss time with a neck injury.
He has been working on his post game this offseason and has been playing well as a shooter.
Anthony is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 19.8 points per game this season while shooting 55.7 percent from the field.
The front office has invested a lot in the young core, including signing free agent swingman J.J. Redick to a five-year, $62 million deal.
The young core will have a lot more to prove this season than they did last season, when Anthony and Noah led the team in scoring.
They are one of few teams who have enough depth to play all 30 teams.
There are a lot left on the roster, but there are some guys who can provide the Knicks with some stability and depth at different positions.
The point guard position has been filled by Kristaps Porzingis, who averaged 10.8 assists and 8.1 rebounds in his second season with the team, and rookie Derrick Williams, who had a breakout year last season averaging 17.1 points, 6.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds.
The big men are rookies Tyler Zeller and T.
J DeRozan, and there are a few young guys that could help this team if they play well.
The stars will shine again The team has an impressive collection of veterans, but this is the Knicks team that will need to be in