One reason the New York Knicks could make the playoffs

Bob Konarski
New York Knicks
Jun 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks fans react as Frank Ntilikina of France is introduced as the number eight overall pick to the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When people talk about the NBA playoffs, the New York Knicks are not in the conversation.  The Knicks are picked to finish last in the stacked Atlantic Division.  So, making the playoffs is stretch.

However, the newest members of the Knicks, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton and Wayne Ellington confirmed that this team as a bunch of ‘dogs’.  They are referring to the team having a gritty, determined vibe that will work hard.  Ellington recently said that this Knicks squad will be looking to ‘shock’ some people with there play.

Despite talks, there are Knicks fans out there that do believe the team has a shot at making the playoffs.  Since it seems like there is a two-team race for the East, Bucks and Sixers.

If the Knicks are to make in the playoffs, their bench is going to be that one reason.

As it appears now, the Knicks have one of the best benches in the leagues.  Well, at least depth wise.  Portis already spoke on the ‘dogs’ on this team, how he wants to win the Sixth man of the year and be the bench ‘leader’.  For now, we can defer to Portis for all the bench needs.

The bench will consist of Portis, Ellington, Payton, Daymean Dotson, Taj Gibson, Kadeem Allen, Ignas  Brazdeikis and Allonzo Trier.  There will be some speculation of who starts when it comes to Marcus Morris Sr. and Kevin Knox.  For defensive purposes, Morris should start with Knox being the first player off the bench, then Portis.  But, lets table that for now.

The bench will provide energy, defense and scoring.  Offensive production from the bench should be high considering the athletic capabilities each player presents inside and beyond the arc.  Not only has the bench improved, but the 3-point shooting has improved through their off-season acquisitions.  Key additions for that Ellington and Reggie Bullock, after his surgery and rehab.

If the Knicks want any chance of making the playoffs, the bench is going to have to back up their statements.  ‘Picking up their man for 94-feet’, being ‘dogs’ and looking to ‘shock’ people.  That mentality will have to be consistent throughout the year.

The starters should be fine.  Key word should.  The bench players will pick them up, if needed, as long as everyone understands their role and they plays as team.  Experts will be looking at the benches productivity for the reason the Knicks make the playoffs, if they do.