Connect with us


New York Knicks End of Season Report

New York Knicks

Despite the loss, the Knicks showed growth from their short-lived 2021 playoff run in which they won their first playoff series since 2013 against the 4th-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.

Revisiting R.J. Barrett’s comment

Remember when R.J. Barrett said the Knicks were going to shock the world?

Eight months later, the Knicks were just two wins short of their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2000.

Barrett, who was born in 2000, told the press that making it to the second round of the playoffs wasn’t enough to shock the world.

“We wanted more, we wanted to move on and show and prove who we are,” Barrett said. 

The 23-year-old reflected on the bigger picture of this past season as well as his outlook on the team’s future.

“It was a good year for us overall just being able to add J.B. (Jalen Brunson) on the team…we’re gonna sit with this one for a little bit, figure it out, and come back stronger next year,” Barrett added.


Although Barrett and the rest of his teammates wanted more, the Knicks exceeded expectations.

Before the start of the 2022-2023 NBA season, many analysts such as ESPN’s Bobby Marks projected the Knicks to be competing for a spot in the play-in tournament.

These lower expectations came after a 2021-2022 season in which the Knicks were expected to build on their success from the 2020-2021 season. The Knicks finished 4th in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record before losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round in five games.

Instead, the Knicks failed to make the playoffs let alone the play-in tournament in 2021-2022 finishing in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a 37-45 record.

“I like this Knicks roster, I don’t like them as a top-six but I like them in that play-in type tournament and they can maybe win 45 games here,” Marks said.

Marks also admitted he was “bullish” on the Knicks playoff chances. 


The New York Knicks finished 11th in total points per game averaging 116 points per contest. In terms of analytics, the Knicks finished 3rd in the association in offensive rating. They also finished second in offensive rebound percentage (28.3) and third in offensive rebounds per game (12.6), which was a product of Mitchell Robinson’s ‘bounding and astounding effort’ on the offensive glass. The fifth-year center led the association in offensive rebounds (4.5) and offensive rebounding percentage (18.4).

In terms of offensive pace, the Knicks were among the slowest in the league. They 25th in pace which was a product of the iso-heavy play of Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and at times, R.J. Barrett. All three players had at least a 25 percent usage rate in the Knicks’ offense and ranked top-50 in the entire league (Randle- 29.5, Brunson- 27.2, Barrett- 26.2). 

A glaring weakness for the Knicks is perimeter shooting. They finished 19th in three point percentage (35.4) and they finished dead last in that category in the playoffs shooting 29 percent from beyond the arc. During the regular season four Knicks shot 35 percent of above from the perimeter (Brunson, Josh Hart, Quentin Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley). During their 11-game playoff run, no Knicks player shot above 33 percent from three. Expect the Knicks to be in the hunt for knockdown shooters through trades and free agency this offseason.

Grade: B


Although the Knicks have gained a more rugged and smashmouth reputation under head coach Tom Thibodeau over the last two seasons, the Knicks ranked 19th in defensive rating. However they ranked 8th in effective field goal percentage allowed (53.6%) and 9th in defensive rebound percentage (77.1%). 

Mitchell Robinson, who is known as one of the league’s intimidating shot blockers, ranked 6th in block percentage (6.5%). Julius Randle, who’s not known for his defense, ranked 22nd in defensive plus minus. He also ranked 7th in defensive rebounds per game (8.1). Josh Hart, who was acquired at the trade deadline, ranked 37th in the entire league in steal percentage (1.8%). The former Villanova Wildcat also ranked 29th in defensive rebounds per game and 3rd amongst guards and forwards (5.9).

Grade: B-


Individual Awards

After a disappointing 2021-22 season, Julius Randle rebounded with a second All-Star and All-NBA appearance. During the regular season, the former Kentucky Wildcat averaged 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on 45%/34%/75% shooting splits. 

Although Randle took home the physical hardware, Jalen Brunson was the Knicks’ MVP.  Brunson has not only garnered respect from fans across the NBA but also from players and coaches as well.

After their six-game series against the Knicks, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who is coaching his sixth NBA finals, showed high praise for the fifth-year guard:

“How is that dude not an All-Star or All-NBA? He should be on one of those teams… I wish he was still out west but man, you gotta respect him as a competitor,” Spoelstra said.

Brunson averaged 24.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on 49%/41%/82% shooting splits. In terms of analytical stats, the 26-year-old ranked 13th in win shares (8.7). 

In addition to being snubbed from the All-Star Game and the All-NBA team, Brunson finished third in the Most Improved Player race behind Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen.

Speaking of runner ups, Immanuel Quickley finished second in the race for Sixth Man of the year behind Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon. The third-year combo guard averaged 14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.0 steals on 44/37/81 shooting splits.

Overall Grade: B-

Overall, the Knicks made positive strides after a disappointing 2021-22 season. They found their franchise point guard in Jalen Brunson after years of instability at that position. Although a polarizing player, Julius Randle looked like the All-Star and All-NBA performer that led the Knicks to the playoffs in 2021. The next step for him is to show the world he can perform under the bright lights when all of the eyes are on him.

As for the young core of Barrett, Quickley, Grimes, and Toppin, each of them need to show more development and consistency going into next season or their names will be dangled in trade talks. 

In terms of the offseason the Knicks don’t own a draft pick in the 2023 NBA Draft so free agency and trades are top priority. The Knicks top priority is to keep Josh Hart on the roster. The sixth-year forward recently expressed interest in staying with the Knicks in an interview with reporter Taylor Rooks. However, he will likely decline his player option for next season.

Knicks Josh HartJosh Hart with the New York Knicks

“I love New York. I love the team. I love the coaching staff….the front office that we have. We got young guys, draft picks….all those sort of things,” Hart said.

“Obviously that would be an ideal place to just re-sign there and do that.”

For Hart, team chemistry and proximity to family is going to be influential in his free agency decision.

“Everything’s perfect on the court, off the court with family being close to home….I would love for that to be home.” Hart said.

Hart has a player option going into the 2023-24 season which would pay him $12.9 million if he opts in. If he opts out, expect breaking news and a long term deal whether that’s re-upping with the Knicks or elsewhere.

Another priority should be to move the contracts of Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier. Each of them fell out of the rotation in December in favor of younger players like Miles “Deuce” McBride and Quentin Grimes. The Knicks could possibly attach one of the younger assets to trade for a perimeter shooter. However, they could also decline Rose’s team option which would make him an unrestricted free agent and take his $15 million dollar salary off the books. As for Fournier, he’s on a $18.8 million salary next season. The Knicks have the option to decline his $19 million dollar option for the 2024-25 season. 

If the Knicks want to have more success next season, the most realistic way is to grow from within and make subtle changes to their roster similar to the trade deadline acquisition of Josh Hart.


Meyer McCaulsky is a contributor on Back Sports Page. Along with receiving his Master’s degree in Magazine, News, and Digital Journalism, he has over a year in sports journalism, and has interviewed a variety of people in the sports industry such as Chris Williamson, Cameron Thomas, Jimmy Boeheim, and Jeremy Pope. McCaulsky has been a guest contributor on a YouTube podcast called Cut The Nets within BSP’s network . For more on Meyer, his Twitter is @meyermccaulsky and Instagram (@m.mccaulsky).

For other pieces from Meyer McCaulsky, click here.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features