After a 47-35 record in the 2022-23 NBA regular season, the New York Knicks entered the playoffs as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, they would take on the Miami Heat in round two. A loss in Game Six in Miami ended New York’s season early. Nonetheless, it was a very successful season for a Knicks team that had been projected to win around 38-40 games and be a play-in team.
DraftKings Sportsbook had the Knicks at 150-1 odds to win the NBA title heading into the 2022-23 season. That was the 20th-best odds of any team.
There is a big jump from Knicks at 45-1 to the New Orleans Pelicans at 35-1 and Cleveland Cavaliers at 25-1. The Pelicans should be getting Zion Williamson back next season, which will greatly bolster their roster. Cleveland will likely return the same core but work on better surrounding those core pieces.
The Knicks are looking at five teams ahead of them to make it out of the Eastern Conference where they have 17-1 odds.
The gap between the Knicks and the Cavs
For the most part, I think the odds make sense. My two gripes are the Memphis Grizzlies at 22-1 and the Cavaliers at 25-1. Memphis has a lot of questions not only about the suspension of Ja Morant but also the structure of their roster.
The Cavaliers having +2000 better odds than the Knicks is where I don’t agree. Even taking a look at the odds to come out of the Eastern Conference, the Cavs sit at +950 while the Knicks are +1700. Bookmakers are looking at the Knicks-Cavs series as if it was a fluke.
This Knicks team dismantled Cleveland in five games and that was while Julius Randle and Josh Hart were both playing hurt. New York also has a war chest of picks, owning their first-round pick from 2024-2029. This will allow the Knicks to potentially package picks and bring in a bigger name with a trade this offseason. There were trade rumors around players such as Julius Randle and RJ Barrett all season.
If we want to look at the salary cap, the Cavs are $11 million more over the cap than the Knicks.
Even without a huge trade, the Knicks could still shed some salary and bring in more supporting pieces. Time will tell who those players could be, but I didn’t see the Knicks beating the Cavaliers in the playoffs as a fluke and would take them again if they played a series.
Despite the disappointing series against the Miami Heat, I still am intrigued by this Knicks roster. They shot historically awful from deep and brought it to a sixth game.
Of course, some questions need to be answered, and players that could be on the move. You never know what the offseason could hold, I’m excited to find out.
Let me know in the comments: Are the Knicks’ title odds too low, high, or where you expected them to be?
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