Fresh Start for the New York Knicks

After trading former face of the franchise, Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder this off-season, the Knicks will turn to 22 year-old Kristaps Porzingis to fill the role. (Via

Mac Ireland, Staff Writer

The New York Knicks were front in center during the NBA’s chaotic offseason. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, they were on the losing end of the trade action. The team’s franchise player, Carmelo Anthony, was traded after 7 seasons in New York. In return, the Knicks received Enis Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick. It is clear that the Knicks are ready to head in a different direction as they start their rebuild with Kristaps Porzingis as the new face of the franchise.

With Knicks set to go in a different direction here is what to expect from their upcoming season.

The first expectation is that the Knicks will be less competitive than last year. With Anthony gone the Knicks are down to one star player in Porzingis. There will be growing pains as the third year pro will be carrying more of the load offensively as well as the team building chemistry. These factors should lead the Knicks finishing with less than 31 victories, which they had a year ago.

As mentioned before, Porzingis will be a bigger focal point in the Knicks offense without Anthony. As a result, Porzingis’ numbers should see a big jump from last season. His points per game should reach well over 20 points and his assist numbers should have a slight increase from 1.5 to about 2 or 3 per game. It should be interesting to see how his field goal percentage is affected considering he will be taking more shots per game. Without Anthony, defenses will be able to shift their focus to Porzingis, more so than in the past, which will call for an adjustment from the 22 year-old forward. Considering where his field goal numbers were last season, it is hard to imagine them getting any worse. If anything he will probably shoot the same percentages on a higher volume of shots.

Looking at the rest of the roster there are a few players to keep an eye on.

Tim Hardaway Jr. signed a 4 year, $71 million offer sheet this summer and will be the Knicks starting shooting guard come opening night. Hardaway Jr. had a solid year with the Hawks in 2016-17 averaging a career high, 14.5 points per game. His scoring ability should make him the second option in the Knicks offense. Knicks starting center Willy Hernangomez made big strides after the all-star break last season when he started to find his place in the rotation. Post all-star break he averaged 11.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game will only play 24 minutes per contest. While the Knicks have a logjam in the frontcourt Hernangomez fits the rebuild model being only 23 years old.

The final player that has not been talked about much, is offseason signee Micheal Beasley. Though the former second overall pick has not lived up to the hype for the duration of his 9-year career, Beasley has shown the ability to score the ball at a high level when given enough minutes. In the 2010-11 season, as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Beasley logged his career high in minutes per game (32.3)  while averaging his single season career high of 19.2 points per game. With that being said, since the Knicks have little depth at the small forward position Beasly should receive a lot of playing time. If he does see more time on the court his points per game should increase from last year’s 9.4.

For the first time in a long time, the Knicks have a sense of direction. With no distractions on or off the court with players, coaches, and even members of the front office, the focus will be solely on the team’s performance. That is something that this franchise has been in need of for quite some time. To see the Knicks first game tune into TNT Thursday, October 19 at 8 o’clock as the Knicks open up their season against Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder.