When the New York Knicks began the 2019 off-season, their expectations were high, and the potential for securing a superstar player was optimistic. That entire ideology quickly took a turn has Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed with next-door neighbors, the Brooklyn Nets.
Missing out on two players that could have revolutionized the Knicks’ franchise and drag them out of the dark ages was a hard pill to swallow. However, the Knicks didn’t allow that to dampen the mood and quickly began to filter out second-tier free agents. They brought in players like Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington, and Bobby Portis to help solidify the roster and begin to develop an identity in the NBA.
Despite the band of misfit toys the Knicks seem to have put together, their identity is finally taking shape in the way of a family.
Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. commented on how he believed the team is coming together and what the atmosphere is like, per the NY Daily News:
Our team, it’s really a group of guys that wanna hoop, compete at a high level and win games,” he said. “I think if we build this identity early of a real selfless team that’s gonna scrap on both ends of the court, I think we can be pretty good this year, and then build on that for years to come.
The New York Knicks need their young point guard to rise to the occasion:
Smith, who is coming off another lackluster season, will enter his third year in the NBA with high hopes. The Knicks need him to elevate his game and become an offensive producer. Averaging just 14.5 points per game over two years is unacceptable, but we should give him the benefit of the doubt from last season as he was traded in the Kristaps Porziņģis deal midway through.
Poor shooting percentages have plagued his efficiency, but he has worked tirelessly to improve his jump shot and overall production this season.
He continued to state: