The Eastern Conference became less competitive when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers in the recent free agency. Unfortunately, the New York Knicks are still not expected to end their five-year playoff drought in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. In the ESPN Summer Forecast, panelist predicted the Knicks to finish as the No. 13 seed in the Eastern Conference with a projected win-loss record of 28-54.
The predictions for the Knicks didn’t come as a surprise, especially with the team’s best player, Kristaps Porzingis, set to miss the most the regular season recovering from an injury. With the Eastern Conference Playoffs nowhere in sight, the Knicks are expected to use the 2018-19 NBA season to develop their young players like Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina. However, Knox said that people shouldn’t count the Knicks out.
The 19-year-old small forward strongly believes that the Knicks have a chance of earning a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference next season. In an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (h/t New York Post), Kevin Knox discussed how many wins the Knicks should get to finally end their five-year playoff drought. Knox said that the Eastern Conference is not as tough as the Western Conference where teams need at least 50 wins to reach the postseason. To get a playoff spot in the East, Knox thinks that teams should only win 35 to 37 games.
Winning 35 to 37 games is not impossible for the Knicks, especially if Kevin Knox and other young players manage to make a huge impact next season. Knox has made a good impression in the recent NBA Summer League where he averaged 21.3 points per game. There are still a few weeks before training camp begins, but Knicks head coach David Fizdale is already open for the possibility of including Knox in their starting lineup.
“I can play really pretty much anywhere on the court,” Knox said. “I think Fizdale’s going to use me pretty much everywhere. Defensively, I think I’m very versatile, I can guard different positions. Offensively, I can play different positions. Like I said, I think Fizdale’s going to have me everywhere. He wants me to stay in attack mode. He wants me to be really aggressive on the offensive end, be able to make plays for my teammates. On defense, be able to guard the best player on the team. That’s a big responsibility for me to take, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Despite his young age, Kevin Knox looked ready for any task or challenge Fizdale will be giving him next season. Knox is very confident that he can boost the Knicks’ performance on both ends of the floor. If they succeed to enter the playoffs in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season, Knox believes it will raise the spirits of all the Knicks’ fans all around the world.