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Three Knicks on top of the NBA’s plus/minus list since the start of the new year

Five are inside the top 22!

New York Knicks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

We are almost three weeks into the new year, and things feel good in Knicks Land.

The Knicks are 8-2 in their last ten games, with a 24-17 record as the Eastern Conference's fifth seed.

I know they are winning against teams with losing records, but you still need to win games. It’s a competitive league with a lot of talent; teams slip up all the time. I give the Knicks a lot of credit for handling business even in games they are ‘favored’ in.

Against teams with winning records, they are 2-2 since trading for Anunoboy. That record could’ve been 3-1 if they didn’t blow the game to the Orlando Magic on Monday, January 15th. They also put forth their best comeback efforts in the loss to the Dallas Mavericks on January 11th in Dallas. I’m not too worried about the Knicks figuring out how to beat teams with winning records.

Earlier this week, I wrote about the potential of trading for Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson would bring additional playmaking and scoring. For now, though, I’m just enjoying what I’m seeing from this current Knicks roster and the cohesiveness they appear to have.

Plus/Minus Praise:

Since the start of 2024, three Knicks have found themselves comfortably leading the NBA in plus/minus.

As of this writing on Friday, January 19, here’s where the list stands:

OG Anunoby:

Tom Thibodeau’s shiny new toy, OG Anunoby, is a +170. That’s +17 better than Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein in second, and +52 better than anyone not on the Knicks.

Anunoby has been amazing since putting on a Knicks uniform. The versatile wing who quietly goes about his business has been positive in all ten Knicks games this year. Even in the loss to the Mavericks, he was a +14 in 38 minutes. In the loss to Orlando, he finished as a +2 in 43 minutes. He’s been efficient, averaging 15.0 points on 51.9/43.5/90.9 shooting splits. Along with efficient offense, Anunoby is a +1.4 in defensive box plus/minus since joining the Knicks.

Isaiah Hartenstein:

Isaiah Hartenstein comes in second on this list, behind Anunoby. The Knicks Center is +153 since turning the calendar. Playing 36.1 minutes per game, Hartenstein is averaging 9.0 points, 14.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.3 steals, and 2.5 blocks in January. He’s looked extremely confident on the court and is a +2.4 in defensive box plus/minus this season. The seven-foot German is up to +4.0 win shares this season and should play a career-high in minutes. After initial concerns, if Hartenstein was ready for an expanded role, he’s shown the impact he can have on the court.

Jalen Brunson:

The soon-to-be first-time All-Star has been phenomenal to start the new year. Brunson is +140 and averaging 27.8 points per game this month. He’s also taken a step up in passing, averaging 8.4 assists. In November, he averaged 5.6, and December saw him dish out 6.8 helpers.

Unlike Anunoby and Hartenstein, Brunson’s value is seen in his offensive numbers. The Villanova product is +3.8 in offensive win shares and +4.6 in offensive box plus/minus. He’s also shooting 42.6 percent from three this season.

Other Knicks:

  • Julius Randle is ninth on the list at +111.
  • Josh Hart is 22nd at +101

Five Knicks are featured inside the top 22 in plus/minus in January.

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