It’s starving time in the NBA, which means rabid news jackals like myself must gnaw on the bones of any available basketball news. Well, Monday turned out to be a good day for fans who love to argue about stuff, as Sports Illustrated premiered their annual “NBA Top 100” post.
So how did the Knicks do? Let’s just say...not well. Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. made the “honorable mention” list, which is better than nothing, I guess. The lone Knick to make the actual list was our beloved Unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis. And even he finished a lackluster No. 52.
SI admits that he is low on their list due primarily to injury, while reminding fans just how God-awful the Knicks were after he got hurt last year.
If healthy, Porzingis (22.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG) would have had a strong case as a top–20 player. By record and point differential, the 2017-18 Knicks were a playoff bubble team with the Latvian big man on the court. After he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in early February, though, New York was pitiful, ranking No. 28 in winning percentage and No. 26 in net rating.
Unfortunately, the greatest ability is availability, and it’s not yet clear when Porzingis will return to the court or if he will return to his peak level of play during the 2018-19 season.
The Knicks finished 26th in net rating after Kristaps’ injury? Wow, that’s way higher than I would have guessed.
OK, so that doesn’t bode well for 2018-19. but we do have a new, hopefully good coach, two exciting rookies, and Mario Hezonja to add to our two honorable mentions.
Please get well soon, Kristaps.