With less than three weeks remaining until the regular NBA season begins, let’s look at which New York Knicks may have a breakout season.
Will it be the veteran who has slimmed down to his rookie weight or will it be the former NBA Most Improved Player? No, these three young men have signed on the dotted line, giving their careers to the New York Knicks organization at least for the next four years.
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The $60 million man, Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell Robinson re-signed with the Knicks on a $60 million contract this past offseason. Robinson has been nicknamed the “Lobness Monster” before being troubled by injury. He missed most of the 2020-21 season. He admitted it hurt to see his teammates in the playoffs and not be able to contribute.
Robinson is going into his fifth season with the team and is its longest-tenured player. As a rookie, Mitchell broke Patrick Ewing’s continuous games with a block record and Kristaps Porzingis’ single-season blocks record. Before he’s done, I believe Robinson will hold the records for a lot of big men.
As he told Monica McNutt on Knicks Content Day, he worked on “post moves, jump hooks, conditioning and throwing up threes” this past summer.
Robinson describes this squad as “dedicated and motivated.” Robinson will have a breakout season because he is “motivated” to help get his team back to the playoffs.
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New York Knicks free agent signing Jalen Brunson
In his media day press conference, Jalen Brunson adamantly stated that “I am not a savior.” And after describing what he called a “horrible offseason,” Brunson went on to describe how he wants to help his team, his teammates win, “one day at a time.”
But do the Knicks need Brunson to be more than a great point guard? I don’t think so. Since high school, Brunson has had to prove himself throughout his career. “Jalen Brunson is good, but.” He will definitely help his team win. The Knicks haven’t had a point guard, really, since Raymond Felton. Felton was part of the 54-win team.
Brunson has been playing ball all during the offseason. You can see that he’s serious, he’s determined, and he’s motivated. He stated that he and Thibs “have to trust each other.” Thibs has known Brunson a long time, and everyone knows he likes his point guards. We an’t wait to see how it goes.
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RJ Barrett ready to shine for the New York Knicks
Although he’s number three on this list, he is truly the number one man on the Knicks’ team. He was the man last season. He’s now armed with a $120 million contract extension.
Barrett has continuously grown as a New York Knick. His field goal percentage, points, and rebounds improve every year. And it’s not by accident. RJ Barrett works very hard at his game. You see it every time he is on the court. Stephen A. Smith criticized him for always going left. In his third season, you saw a big improvement in Barrett using his right hand, slashing to the basket, surprising everyone.
He let it be known that he is working on his free throws. Free throws are something that the entire team needs to practice. Thibs should have them make 500 in a row. They would be there the whole training camp. I laugh, but it is a very serious matter for the Knicks’ players.
When the Knicks are playing the Miami Heat, take notice of the interactions between Jimmy Butler and Barrett. I assure you, it’s not just trying to get in his head, it’s also being his big brother.
=Some have even gone so far as to say he’s a bust. Actions speak louder than words, and Barrett is determined to be an All-Star this season. Just as in last season, he wanted to average 20 points by the end of the season, and he did just that. Look out, New York, you have another up-and-coming All-Star on the horizon.
- The first person on the honorable mention list is Derrick Rose. Rose is down to his rookie weight, giving up sweets and enhancing workouts did that. He sat on the sideline and “couldn’t say anything.” This season Rose has promised to be loud, holding his teammates accountable, teaching them that every criticism is not bad and there shouldn’t be hard feelings behind them. If Rose can teach that to just one of his teammates, he’s had a breakout season.
- Immanuel Quickley will have a breakout season. Period. Not only will he have a breakout season, but he will also be competing with Rose for 6th man of the year. Quickley ended last season showing what he can really do, and fans are ready.
- Third is Quentin Grimes. With his shooting and defense, Thibs will have no option but to put him in the starting lineup. Better still, instead of the starting shooting guard, he will be the team’s finishing shooting guard.