The New York Knicks have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA thus far in the 2020-21 season. They have blown away expectations this season, as Tom Thibodeau has the team playing hard every night.
Just how much has New York outperformed their expectations thus far this season? Las Vegas set the team’s over/under for wins this season at 21.5. 33 games into their season, they already have 16 and are right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
It cannot be understated how well of a job Thibodeau and his staff have done. The Knicks have their flaws, but he is getting the most out of the players he has and putting them in a position to succeed. Julius Randle has been at the forefront of the resurgence at Madison Square Garden.
Randle was selected to his first All-Star game and rightfully so. He is having a career season, leading the Knicks in points, rebounds and assists, averaging 23.2 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
Randle has developed a killer offensive arsenal, knocking down 41.6 percent of his 3-point attempts, easily a career-high, and bullying defenders in the paint. When they foul him, he is making it count as he is knocking down 80.8 percent of his free throws, another career-high.
Mitchell Robinson was showing legitimate growth before he fractured his hand. Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson have filled the void as well as you could ask. RJ Barrett has shown an improvement on both ends of the court and veterans Elfrid Payton, Derrick Rose, Alec Burks and Reggie Bullock are thriving in their roles. And don’t forget the rookies, Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley!
While Obi Toppin has played limited minutes behind Julius Randle, he is gaining confidence and looking more comfortable with every passing game Quickley has taken the league by storm and is a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate.
While things have started well, there is still plenty of work to do be done. Here are three bold predictions for the Knicks in the second half of the season.