The end of the 2018-2019 NBA season saw the New York Knicks finish bottom of both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division with the worst win-loss record in the NBA (17-65). Their win-loss record in the 2018-2019 regular season was also their joint-worst record in a single NBA season. Their win-loss record from last season was also the same as their record from the 2014-2015 NBA season. As a result of their disappointing season, the Knicks failed to secure qualification to the playoffs. The disastrous season made it clear the team was heading in the wrong direction. However, per the team’s standards in recent years, it is fair to say that before the suspension of this current season, the New York Knicks were having a decent season this time around in comparison to last season. The New York Knicks are currently 12th on the Eastern Conference, three places above their position at the end of last season with a 21-45 win-loss record. A look at the team’s position and numbers so far this season shows a little bit of improvement in the team’s performances this season. However, just like last season, the Knicks are once again bottom of the Atlantic Division and have shown their inconsistencies so far this season. The team’s poor start to the beginning of the season also cost Coach David Fizdale his job with Mike Miller replacing him as the interim head coach. We take a look at the New York Knicks’ season so far and highlight the improvements in the team this season.
New York Knicks’ season so far
The Knicks began this season on a wrong note as they lost their opening game of the season on the road at San Antonio Spurs (120-111). After two more defeats at the hands of Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, the Knicks secured their first win of the season in a home game against Chicago Bulls. The victory came in their fourth game of the season. The team’s second victory of the season went on the road at Dallas Mavericks after going four consecutive games without a win. After ten games into the season, the Knicks had just two wins with eight defeats. The next four games saw the team pick two wins at home against Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers. After the opening 14 games of the season, the Knicks has a poor 4-10 win-loss record (the same as their record at the same stage of last season). The Knicks would go on a 10-game losing streak before securing significant fifth and sixth wins of the season in consecutive games on the road at Golden State Warriors (124-122 OT) and Sacramento Kings (103-101).
Mike Miller replaced Coach Fizdale as interim Head Coach during the 10-game winless run. An away defeat at Denver Nuggets along with a home win over Atlanta Hawks meant the Knicks had secured three wins from 4 games, slightly improving their win-loss record to 7-21. The decent run came to an end with three consecutive losses from the next three games. However, the Knicks were able to shake off their little slump to claim two successive wins afterward over Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards to end 2019 on a winning note. The Knicks began the New Year, just like the way they ended 2019 with a win at home against Portland Trail Blazers. However, the team went on to claim only three wins from their next 15 games. Those three wins came against Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets.
Since then, the Knicks went on to claim eight wins from their last 17 games before the suspension of the season.
Improvements in the Knicks team this season
The most notable improvement in the Knicks team this season has their performances at home. The Knicks have had a reasonably decent form at home this season in comparison to last season. This season, they have an 11-22 win-loss record at home so far in contrast to the 9-32 home record they had at the end of last season. Some of the wins have come against some of the teams fighting to secure qualification to the playoffs this season such as Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.
Another notable has been the performances of their key players this season. After an underwhelming 2018-2019 season, there was an exodus of the key players like Point Guard Emmanuel Maudiay and Power Forward Noah Vonleh from the Knicks last summer. However, the additions of Power Forward Julius Randle, Small Forward Marcus Morris Sr. and Shooting Guard RJ Barrett have upgraded the team’s firepower and cutting edge up front. Despite the departure of Marcus Morris Sr. to the Clippers earlier this year, the other two significant additions have continued producing their best by recording impressive numbers for the Knicks consistently.
This season, Julius Randle, who joined the Knicks from the New Orleans Pelicans last summer, has been the most outstanding player in the team. He has an average of 19.5 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 3.1 assists in 64 games in comparison to Noah Vonleh, who recorded 8.4 points per game in addition to 7.8 rebounds per game, and 1.9 assists per game in 68 matches for the New York Knicks last season.
Last summer’s draft pick RJ Barrett has had an impressive rookie season so far. In 56 games for the Knicks this season, RJ Barrett has averaged 14.3 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and 2.6 assists per game.
The impressive performances of these two players could determine where the New York Knicks would end up if the season resumes.