It’s been a while since the New York Knicks were a legit championship contender.
Two years ago, it seemed like Tom Thibodeau had led them back to the top, clinching a surprising top-4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
But Julius Randle’s regression and RJ Barrett’s discret improvements have made people wonder whether that was just a fluke or not.
Now, the Knicks are once again one of the hottest teams in the Association.
Winners of eight in a row after entering December with a 10-12 record, they’ve boasted the best defense in the league over that span.
Nonetheless, FS1’s Nick Wright is still far from impressed with the Knicks, and thinks this recent hot stretch won’t last for long:
“RJ Barrett, right now, is not a top-100 NBA player,” Wright said. “RJ Barrett is worse this year than he was last year. And the reason the Knicks are not for real is because he hasn’t taken a leap. They certainly missed out on Donovan [Mitchell], and record this, Knicks media, and play it back never when I’m proven wrong: This Knick team is a threat to no one in the playoffs, and in six weeks, we’ll be talking about ‘are they going to make the playoffs?'”
Truth be told, it’s hard to see the Knicks keeping this intensity throughout the season.
Thibodeau usually wears his starters out, both physically and mentally, not to mention they’ve been fairly inconsistent since he took over.
Moreover ,it’s fair to say that they do lack another star that could help them take a leap forward, but it’s still early to give up on Barrett, who just turned 22.