The 2021-22 New York Knicks just cannot seem to get going this season:
Tough. Back home on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/gzqK5X0BZn
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 19, 2022
Here is a quick look at their ups and downs this season:
- Late October: three-game winning streak
- Early December: three-game losing streak
- Mid-December: four-game losing streak
- Late December: three-game winning streak
- Mid-January: three-game winning streak
That is it for the streaks of three or more games in 2021-22 for Tom Thibodeau’s squad.
The 2010-11 and 2020-21 Coach of the Year is not seeing as much success this decade.
The Knicks were hoping he would be able to duplicate his .758 win percentage season that he had with the Chicago Bulls in 2011-12, the year after his first Coach of the Year award.
Alas, that will not be happening.
Even if the Knicks win the rest of their games, FiveThirtyEight still would not expect them to have the best record in the NBA at 59-23 (.720).
That honor would go to the impressive Pheonix Suns, who are projected at 60-22 (.732).
Now, let us leave fantasy land and take a look at a realistic situation for the Knicks this season.
What is the plan for the Knicks, and can they climb atop the Eastern Conference?
Well, if they continue to be buyers, anything could be possible.
How Can The Knicks Climb Atop The East?
Before we get into this lofty goal, let me clarify that the aforementioned “anything” is within reason.
If the NBA playoffs started in January, the Knicks would be in the lottery.
There is still a lot of basketball to be played, but the current constitution of the team is not going to be a division or conference-winner any time soon.
They need to be buyers as soon as possible.
Courtesy of the Woj Bomb on January 13, the Knicks are already working toward finding players that can help them as soon as possible:
ESPN Sources: The Atlanta Hawks are trading forward Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks for a deal that includes a protected 2022 first-round pick via Charlotte. Knicks also acquire Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick via Brooklyn in trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2022
Unfortunately, his ankle injury forced him to join Derrick Rose (right ankle surgery) on the sidelines.
Now, what is the next step for this Knicks team?
Thankfully for Knicks fans, Walker is back and he put up 19 points on 4-for-8 shooting from 3-point land in his return to the court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Randle, who made his first All-Star Game in 2021, has been playing more consistent basketball recently.
His most recent performances include 17-12 and 18-10 double-doubles.
He also has had at least eight assists in three of his last four contests.
So, who can the Knicks get to add to Randle, Walker, Barrett, and Evan Fournier?
Trade Options For The Knicks
New York is in need of improving in any way the squad can.
It may be difficult for the Knicks to get Brunson, but a Turner trade seemingly should be able to happen.
The Pacers are going south fast, and this year’s Knicks tend to like injured players.
Now, even Brunson and Turner will not bring the Knicks to the top of the East.
So, if the Knicks want to attain lofty goals, they need a Carmelo Anthony-like trade.
Well, the time is ticking, as the February 10 trade deadline approaches.
Is there a certain guard in Portland that will become available or, perhaps, a guard in Philadelphia?
The Knicks need a big splash, and they need it badly.
That is what will vault them in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.