Are the Knicks Fun?

It’s a brand new year for the Knicks, and with that new year, comes hope! This year is a little different than most other Knicks years. The team is young, sort of athletic, and should be fun. I’m excited that wins won’t really matter, and growth is the only thing that’s necessary for the season.

There’s some new faces, with a lot of old faces, in new roles. Gone is Carmelo Anthony. Phil Jackson is no longer at the top. Hornacek is a fresh man, with a new lease on life. Kristaps is the leader now, and our baby boy is growing up before our eyes. With the season starting tonight, let’s look at what would be a successful season for each players, and how excitement they can generate.

Kristaps Porzingis — A Kristaps is a measurement of how excited a person can get, with One Kristaps being the most excited. This, of course, is derived from Kristaps Porzingis the Latvian big man for the Knicks. The Knicks are his team now, and rightfully so. He’s the guy who’s going to bring home the bacon for us, Knicks fans, to the tune of highlight dunks and blocks. I couldn’t be more excited for anything, over KP being free on both ends. 24 foot 3’s in people’s faces, and then blocking shots into oblivion on the other end. With Point Guards who will actually look for him, I’d expect KP to make a huge leap in his Third year.

Doug McDermott — Dougie McBuckets sure is something. In the final pre-season game he really showed out, scoring 21 points in 23 minutes, and shot 8–12 from the floor, including 4–6 from Three. He shot 50% from Three in the whole pre-season. If McDermott can keep his 3-point percentage around 40% for the year, that’d be awesome. He can’t play defense, and you probably can’t play him with Willy and Timmy, but he certainly tries hard, and that’s worth something. I’m moderately excited to see what McDermott brings in Hornacek’s faster paced offense.

Kyle O’Quinn — Kyle O’Quinn is a legend, and it’s mostly because of his beard. He’s the king of getting stats, and leave you scratching your head as to where they came from. He’s perfect for a guy to soak up 10–15 minutes a game, block some shots, and make some boneheaded plays. He also could get traded sometime during the season, which is exciting to me, but I just get off on NBA transactions. They are my life blood, and KOQ is the one front court player that is the most logical to move.

Enes Kanter — Enes Kanter is the exact same player as Willy Hernangomez, just like 3 years older, and worse on defense. I’m excited to see Kanter get buckets on a team, that will most certainly need someone to score for the 2nd unit. I’m not at all excited to see him get Pick and Rolled into oblivion, on defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point he gets benched for Joakim Noah. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas — The Original Kuz has not been seen at all during pre-season, being hampered by a calf injury. In the one game he did play, in classic Kuz fashion he shot the ball 7 times in just under 7 minutes played. He only made 2 shots. Kuz has a shot selection that would make J.R. Smith proud, and I’m excited to see his 2nd year in New York. I expect him to get more run after the first couple of weeks of the season. He’ll have his moments, much like last year.

Joakim Noah — I’m actually kind of in on Joakim Noah this season. Not really more as a player, but more like, he’ll get his swag back. He’ll be a more vocal leader, and more content with his role on the team. He was clearly distressed mentally last year. I really think he can help this team as a mentor to Willy, teaching him some defensive tricks-of-the-trade to help Willy be a more competent defender.

Courtney Lee — C-Lee is still good, and for that I’m excited. He improved as a ball handler, and turned into the Knicks best player running a Pick and Roll last year. That wasn’t a very big bar last year, but it was fun, and with Frank and KP (and hopefully Dotson!), Lee can take on the 2nd best perimeter player on the other team on defense, and the Knicks might get some stops! Not a lot but some! He shot 40% from Three last year, and was close to a 50/40/90 season! I’d be so happy if he played out his whole contract in New York, but I could also see a contender try and make a run at him, towards the trade deadline.

Lance Thomas — Lance might be my favorite player, and it might not even be close. You really just have to watch him for a couple of possessions, and you’re bound to laugh 3–4 times. The way he runs, the way he moves, the way he dribbles, and shoots; It’s all funky, but it somehow works! His best friend is Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant called him his favorite teammate at one point in time. Lance is the ultimate glue guy, and that’s really what a team like this needs.

Willy Hernangomez — Willy Hernangomez is going into this year in a weird position. He needs to play, but also, he’s not as good at Center as Kristaps. Willy, who’s not a good defender, holds one of the keys to the Knicks not being totally abysmal on that end, with his rebounding skills. He still has room to improve, on that end. When the Knicks give up 134,343 offensive rebounds a game, they’re hopeless. It’s harder to defend for 48, 72, 96 seconds than it is for 24 seconds. Willy was a rookie last year, but looked like he belongs. Will he make another jump, this year, to help the Knicks into something better?

Frank Ntilikina — Frankie Clamps is the Knick I’m probably most excited for. After years of watching opposing Point Guards destroy the Knicks, they went out and drafted someone to try and stop them. I’ve always been a guy who values good defense, and Frankie brings that in spades. That was his role on his French team, SIG Strasbourg. He’s a better passer than I thought he’d be, and he shot damn near 40% from 3, last year, in France. I’m ready for Frank and KP pick and pops which worked well in his only pre-season game. This is a year for growth, and none more important than Frankie Nicotine.

Tim Hardaway Jr. — Timmy is back and better than ever! Timmy was the best Knick in the Preseason shooting 43.2% on over 7 Threes a game. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, but he’s an offensive machine. I can’t wait to see him in transition, with Hornacek wanting the team to push more often. He’s a blur at getting to the rim, and he loves to hit big Threes. I’m here for the Timmy resurgence, and at the very least, show that his huge contract isn’t a complete disaster.

Ron Baker — Ron Baker what are we going to do with you? He shot 25% from the field, in pre-season, and 25% from 3. We can’t have that. Especially when he can’t take anyone off the dribble. Your defense is okay, and if I’m giving Dougie McBuckets points for trying on defense, you get the same in spades. I hope he finds his touch somewhere along the way, otherwise this is going to get awkward when you opt-in to your player option next year.

Damyean Dotson — Dotson is also up there in the KP, Frank, Timmy tier of excitement. He’s just good at everything. He can shoot, pass, dribble, defend. He’s a smart player, who doesn’t force a whole lot, and can really go with what the defense is giving him. He can be a steal for the Knicks, in a place that really helps if he becomes a good player. I really hope he gets a chance to get some burn, because he can actually be something. He looks like he belongs.

Michael Beasley — The Beas is really going to be the one to watch this year, because he’s Michael Beasley! He’s really a national treasure, in the vain of J.R. Smith. I mean he started the season talking about Brains and Science. Your favorite could never.

Ramon Sessions — Ramon Sessions has pleasantly surprised me in the pre-season. He can actually run an offense and the team looks good with him out there. He makes the right passes, and doesn’t look for his shot much, but can make a layup if that’s what’s given. He’s better than Jack or Baker, and he seems to be a good mentor for Frankie Clamps. He’s the starter for now, I suppose, but maybe not for long. It’ll be nice to see someone get the ball to KP and Willy with a halfway decent entry pass.

Jarrett Jack — Jarrett Jack is only on the team for 12 games, while Noah is suspended for PED use. It’s going to be fun seeing Jack force feed Willy the ball underneath, and in Pick and Rolls. He generated some easy buckets that way. Let’s see how much he plays, because he really shouldn’t play much over Frankie. I have always been a Jarrett Jack fan, going back to his Georgia Tech days. I’m irrationally happy about this, and you can’t take it away from me.

And that’s a little scouting report on everyone coming into the season. Let’s see how they do. The first game is tonight, against the Thunder, and Carmelo Anthony. Let’s get going on another great (but actually probably terrible) Knicks season!