The New York Knicks are stepping into the 2023-24 season on a high note, having advanced to the second round of the playoffs last year. While optimism is abundant, there are still some looming questions that could define their upcoming season.
1. Three-Point Shooting: Did the Knicks Do Enough?
Entering the offseason, the Knicks had a clear void to fill: three-point shooting. Their answer was to ink three-and-D guard Donte DiVincenzo to a four-year, $50 million deal. Apart from extending Josh Hart’s contract, the Knicks are mostly bringing back last year’s roster, a lineup that had significant shooting struggles in the postseason.
DiVincenzo, the 26-year-old former Villanova standout, could potentially be a game-changer. Boasting a career 36.2% three-point shooting average, he shot an impressive 39.7% from downtown in 72 games with the Golden State Warriors last season. His addition should certainly bolster the team’s spacing, but whether he significantly impacts the Knicks’ overall shooting efficiency remains to be seen.
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2. The Julius Randle Factor: Can He Elevate His Game?
Julius Randle was nothing short of spectacular last season, putting up an average of 25 points per game and earning his second All-Star and All-NBA team selections in just three years. However, his postseason performance was a letdown; he averaged only 16 points and shot a mere 37.4% from the field. Though it was evident that a lingering ankle injury — for which he later underwent surgery — hampered his gameplay.
The Knicks are pinning high hopes on Randle, especially since the team’s core remains largely unchanged. Team chemistry is unlikely to be a problem. The pivotal issue is Randle’s post-surgery condition and whether he can recapture the dynamism and physicality that he exhibited before his injury. Known for his durability, a fully recovered Randle could well be the linchpin of the Knicks’ success this season.
3. Star Power: Do the Knicks Need Another Big Name?
While the Knicks have avoided any headline-grabbing blockbuster trades, it might not be a downside for this season. The roster is still evolving, with many key players yet to reach their prime. There’s ample time to evaluate the current core’s championship potential before entertaining the idea of bringing in a star player who’s looking for a change of scenery.
The offseason was rife with rumors about available star players, but none led to significant roster changes. The sky-high asking prices have put teams, including the Knicks, in a cautious stance. While another star could propel the Knicks into the league’s elite, there’s no immediate need to make such a move, and clearly, the Knicks’ management concurs.
Depending on their performance this season, the Knicks may or may not feel the pressure to add more star power to the lineup. However, even with their existing roster, they have a solid shot at another postseason run.
No Conclusions, Just Questions
As the 2023-24 season looms, these unresolved questions are what make the Knicks one of the most intriguing teams to watch. Their performance will be the ultimate decider in what adjustments need to be made moving forward, especially if things don’t go as planned.
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