Knicks named a 2024 NBA Finals dark horse contender

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau high fives New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) with guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) and forward OG Anunoby (8) and guard Jalen Brunson (11) during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Much anticipation surrounds the New York Knicks and their title chances as NBA action resumes following the 2024 All-Star break. The Knicks caught fire after trading for OG Anunoby. Had it not been for a series of injuries that ripped through their roster, they could have avoided a four-game skid that preceded the All-Star festivities.

Knicks one of five teams looked at as underrated championship contenders

With their most vital pieces working to get back on the court, the Knicks have been labeled as a dark horse to capture the elusive Larry O’Brien trophy this June.

NBC Sports’ Sanjesh Singh named the Knicks alongside the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Golden State Warriors. He cited the additions of Anunoby, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Alec Burks as the main catalysts for the Knicks to solidify their championship structure.

Further, Singh had this to say about the most crucial factor that will make or break the Knicks, All-Star Jalen Brunson’s reliability as a No. 1 option, saying:

‘There may be doubts about Brunson being the team’s No. 1 option for a possible title charge, but he’s proven he can elevate above the criticism.”

Knicks need elite contributions from their All-Stars and role players to win this year’s title

The Knicks’ supplementary pieces can play lights out, but if they don’t get consistent big performances from their lead man Brunson in the playoffs, their championship hopes will falter. The same is true the other way around.

Thankfully, Brunson has 22 games with 30 or more points on the year. The Knicks have won 15 of those. New York is also a perfect 7-0 when Brunson doesn’t commit a turnover. His 27.6 points per game have put him on the map as a premier scorer. Brunson’s 6.5-2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio proves his efficient command of the offense.

He’s also found ways to make big plays down the stretch of games and elevate his teammates around him.

In the East, the Knicks look strong. They own the third-best record in conference play (22-12) and are 19-8 at home.

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