The Knicks are winners of five in a row to bring their season record to 35-27. Their winning streak combined with a four game losing streak from the Miami Heat have brought the Knicks to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. If the season ended today the Knicks would avoid the play-in and would play the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.
We’ll take a look at the Knicks’ title odds and the team’s outlook for the remainder of the year.
Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson Leading the Way
Power forward Julius Randle was named an All-Star this year. At age 28, it marked Randle’s second career All-Star appearance. He earned the right to play in the game by averaging 25 a game in his fourth season with the Knicks.
Randle put together a massive performance in his team’s first game back from the All-Star break. He put up 46 points on 16 of 29 shooting and 7 of 14 from downtown. The Knicks won the game 115-109.
Jalen Brunson has also been a huge contributor in his first season with the Knicks. Brunson has averaged nearly 30 points a game over the month of February. The Knicks have gone 6-2 over that span.
For the year, Brunson has averaged 23.7 points a game, shooting 48% from the field. Prior to this season, the most points Brunson has averaged in a season came last year when he averaged 16.3 a game. The staggering jump in production has helped Brunson become a candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year Award.
The New Acquisition of Josh Hart Changes Things
The Knicks’ biggest deadline move was the acquisition of Josh Hart. Hart was acquired in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers just before the trade deadline. The move adds more depth to the Knicks bench.
Hart has had a lot of success in his first five games with the Knicks. New York has won all five while their new sixth man has averaged fourteen a game on over 60 percent shooting.
The move has led to controversies regarding the Knicks rotation. RJ Barrett has been left on the bench in the closing minutes of recent close contests. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has stated that he wants to go with the hot hand down the stretch.
Knicks 2022-2023 Best Betting Odds
Despite the impressive season, the Knicks aren’t getting much respect from NY sportsbooks. DraftKings has them in a tie for the 17th-best odds to win it all. They also have the Brooklyn Nets at 16th, a team that decided to wave the white flag following the trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Knicks might be doing things right this year but they’re not seen as a significant title threat. Oddsmakers don’t seem to think the Knicks have the star power to hang with the top teams in the postseason. The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers are all going to be forced to be reckoned with in the east.
The middle-of-the-pack odds may also be due to the fact that the Knicks have played streaky basketball all year. This might just be one of the high points for the Knicks, and the oddsmakers aren’t biting on it.
New York Knicks Outlook
The Knicks will be looking to finish the season strong and move past the Brooklyn Nets for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. They beat the new-look Brooklyn Nets two weeks ago by 18 points. The Knicks’ recent winning streak has brought them to within half a game of the Nets in the standings.
If they are able to move past the Nets it would likely mean a first-round date with the Donovan Mitchell-led Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks are 2-1 against the Cavaliers this season with a game still left to be played between the two sides.
Of course, there’s a lot of work to be done between now and the postseason. The Knicks have played great team basketball but still have a lot of people to prove wrong for the remainder of the year. One thing that should remain consistent is the support behind this Knicks team. They’re young and proving to be the most exciting team in Madison Square Garden in a long time.