Knicks & NBA Predictions

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 16: Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks huddles with his team during a time out during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 16, 2020 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Heading into the 2020-21, 72 game season, there are a lot of mysteries that inevitably will unfold. Where will James Harden land? Will Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant finish the season strong? Can anyone beat the Lakers? And of course, oodles of Knicks questions. New York finds themself in a tricky spot, trying to build a solidified core amongst a very young roster. The only draft pick of recent years who appears to be a sure fire hit is R.J. Barrett. The Knicks will lean heavily offensively on Barrett, who should average at least 18 points per game. Mitchell Robinson has shown flashes of superb play, but has been his biggest enemy, committing too many fouls. Several Knicks appear to be on the brink of either being a solid NBA player or being worthless. Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., and Elfrid Payton all have a lot to prove. The rookies on the squad (Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley), both had impressive preseasons and appear to be primed for a productive season. Immanuel Quickley is already in the running to be a starter on opening night and if Julius Randle is traded, Obi Toppin will slide into the starting lineup as well. Both rookies have a very real chance at starting to finish the season, if not sooner. Another headline that Knicks fans will be keeping an eye on is their draft position, as the Knicks own their own draft pick next year in a highly touted draft class. Tom Thibodeau has a lot of options, but not necessarily a lot of talent when selecting his rotation. If the Knicks are going to be a .500 basketball team, R.J. Barrett will need to have a huge year, several youngsters will need to step-up, and the defense needs to be a strength. Leon Rose will have to decide which players should stay longterm and who he can bring in via trade to help the solidify the structure of their future. As Thibodeau alluded to, teams need to be aggressive in adding stars (whether it be through the draft, free agency, or trades). It is possible the Knicks have a star on the roster already (R.J. Barrett), but they certainly must add another. I’d expect rumors to be running rampant throughout the season about the Knicks’ interest in adding a premier player (such as Lonzo Ball, Zach Lavine, Victor Oladipo, Buddy Hield, Aaron Gordon, John Collins, and Karl-Anthony Towns). Barring any major changes, here is how I’d expect the season to play out…

Knicks Record

28-44 (10th in the Eastern Conference)

Knicks Rookie of the Year

Immanuel Quickley

Knicks Most Improved Player

R.J. Barrett

Knicks Most Valuable Player

R.J. Barrett

Knicks Biggest Dissapointment

Dennis Smith Jr.

Knicks Players Likeliest To Be Traded

  • Julius Randle
  • Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Alec Burks

Eastern Conference Playoff Standings

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Miami Heat
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Boston Celtics
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Toronto Raptors
  7. Philadelphia 76ers
  8. Washington Wizards

Western Conference Playoff Standings

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Portland Trail Blazers
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. Golden State Warriors
  7. Phoenix Suns
  8. New Orleans Pelicans

Eastern Conference Finals Teams

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat

Western Conference Finals Teams

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets

NBA Finals Teams

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Champion

Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Finals MVP

Lebron James

NBA Rookie of the Year

LaMelo Ball/ James Wiseman

NBA Most Improved Player

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander/ Lonzo Ball

NBA Most Valuable Player

Giannis Antetokounmpo/ Stephen Curry

NBA Coach of the Year

Steve Nash/ Lloyd Pierce

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