For the first time since 2013, the New York Knicks were playing playoff basketball.
It was definitely an unexpected journey for the Knicks making the postseason.
However, they made it and even took the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
They ended up losing in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks.
None of that matters.
It has been a dream for fans to see this team compete again; just by being in the playoffs again.
They have been a laughingstock for such a long period of time.
We have seen multiple eras of Knicks basketball that always went into the dumps.
Things are extremely different now.
The Knicks are back, but only to a certain degree.
The Knicks were a 4 seed last year.
Upgraded SG ✅
Upgraded PG ✅
Extended Randle ✅
Drafted team needs ✅
This was a successful summer for the Knicks and they’re set up for back-to-back playoff appearances.
Block out the noise!
— x KnicksNation (@KnicksNation) August 5, 2021
Being a contender is hard in the NBA.
There are only a select few teams every season that have a legitimate shot at winning it all.
The Knicks are still far off from being a contender.
There are a few reasons why they aren’t in contention.
The Roster Isn’t There Yet
The Knicks have had a busy offseason.
They re-signed several of their key players from this past season.
One new addition to the Knicks is guard, Evan Fournier.
Free agent Evan Fournier has agreed to a four-year deal that could be worth as much as $78M with the New York Knicks, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
This is a key piece, as they were struggling with their offense in the playoffs.
However, they do not have a roster that is ready to be in contention in the foreseeable future.
Championship-caliber teams need multiple All-Stars on the roster.
The Knicks only have one in Julius Randle; whom they gave a contract extension to.
Randle is the current face of the young Knicks team.
He is their building block for the future; just not for the present.
League sources say part of Julius Randle’s thinking on signing his 4 year, $117M contract extension w/NYK is that he loves the organization/fans & wants to ‘commit his prime to the team.’ Sources add that Randle wants to commit now to give more NYK financial flexibility. ESPN 1st
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 5, 2021
We just have to wait a few more years for the Knicks to build the perfect roster to be a championship contender.
As of right now, they are too far away with their roster construction.
The Nets And Bucks Have The East
The Knicks are a good team, but they are not close to the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the defending champions now and possess one of the best basketball players in the world, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
They are trying to repeat next season and have a decent chance of doing so.
Can the Knicks matchup with them?
Then there are the Brooklyn Nets.
This team is scary when they are fully healthy.
That big three is better than the Knicks roster.
This Nets team played less than 20 games with one another, but still looked ready to steamroll through the playoffs until injuries derailed them.
As of right now, the Knicks are not close to either one of those teams.
They might not be close to the next level of teams, such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks.
The Knicks have time to become contenders, but it is going to take a good bit of time for them to reach that level.