Last night’s loss to the Bucks notwithstanding, the New York Knicks have played well recently, and it’s not gone unnoticed. Zach Harper of The Athletic published his updated NBA power rankings yesterday and has raised your Knickerbockers from 16th to 10th place. (Article is paywalled.)
Harper would be remiss not to observe that New York had performed inconsistently of late (the eight straight wins, the five straight losses), but points out that they have regained momentum, which puts them in a strong position to secure a playoff spot and maybe even avoid the play-in tournament. He compliments Quentin Grimes, Jalen Brunson, and Julius Randle and speculates that they will surpass the 40-win mark for the season.
Here’s a revelatory tweet, although it predates yesterday’s game:
Efficiency Leaders—LAST 15 GAMES— NBA University (@NBA_University) January 9, 2023
1. BKN: 121.4
2. DEN: 119.3
3. NYK: 118.3
4. PHI: 117.9
5. LAL: 117.7
6-10: CHI, DAL, CLE, UTA, IND
1. MEM: 105.4
2. NYK: 110.2
3. BOS: 110.4
4. PHI: 110.5
5. MIA: 111.0
6-10: LAC, ORL, OKC, CLE
Over at NBA.com, Steve Aschburner gave out his Midseason Report Cards. He writes:
If the Knicks were a old TV, you might walk up and give ‘em a whack to see if that straightens things out. It just doesn’t make sense that they could rank in the Top 10 in offense (114.1), defense (111.7) and net rating (2.4) and be a seventh-place team in the East. That rarefied statistical area generally is the domain of Top 4 seeds, not a group that might have to fight its way out of a Play-In.
Aschburner praises the Knicks for their strong record (“one of only three teams above .500”) and competitiveness within their conference (13-10). He highlights that players like Mitchell Robinson, Jalen Brunson, and Julius Randle are performing well and make valuable contributions to the team. However, he points out their areas for improvement, such as their shooting accuracy and defense against 3-pointers. Overall, Steve believes the Knicks are on track to improve upon last season’s record and assigns them a midseason grade of B.
Meanwhile, if you’re a Camstan angrily buzzing about the Camhive, you won’t be pleased by the latest edition of Ian Begley’s The Putback. About Cam Reddish, Ian observes, “There’s no indication at all that he even is going to see garbage time minutes over the next couple of weeks.”
In the following clip, Stefan Bondy (Daily News) maintains that the Reddish camp is working with the front office to facilitate a trade. “Maybe [the Knicks] can recoup a second-round pick,” he suggests, “the kind of second-round pick that they lost in the Jalen Brunson tampering investigation thing.” Jonathan Macri (Knicks Film School) neatly and reasonably rounds out the discussion, dispensing a palatable chill pill:
"I don't envision a situation where Cam Reddish is going to be playing with this team."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 10, 2023
We talked last week about Reddish, why thinking about Julius Randle trades is - most likely - a waste of time & more on The Putback w/guests @SBondyNYDN & @JCMacriNBA: https://t.co/f1Jzcn98mC pic.twitter.com/5Fyyhc4XbM
Hoopshype also referenced the Reddish situation in today’s NBA Notebook. Per HH, “The Cam Reddish era appears to be nearing an end roughly one year after New York traded a first-round pick to acquire the former Duke standout. Reddish hasn’t played in 18 games and counting for the Knicks as the team looks to find a new home for the former No. 10 overall pick.”
Their writers assert that, according to league sources, the Knicks will accept two second-round draft picks in exchange for Cam.
It’s weird that Reddish remains in mothballs on the bench. He is a talented player who could fill an important hole on a playoff-bound team. If the deadline passes without a Cam deal, this situation could grow increasingly unpleasant through the backend of the season.
The Hoopshype article also posits that with Immanuel Quickley playing so well during RJ Barrett’s absence, the Knicks might be disinclined to trade him now. You think? IQ has averaged 18.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in his last 10 games and is defending like a demon. Trade this kid at your peril, Leon.
Peace ‘til next time.