Adjustments the New York Knicks must make in order to win games

New York Knicks Julius Randle Jalen Brunson, Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks Julius Randle Jalen Brunson, Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle and head coach Tom Thibodeau (Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports) /

This past off-season, New York Knicks fans got to celebrate something they haven’t been able to in a very long time, the signing of a highly sought-after free agent. Sure the team acquired All-Star forward Julius Randle as a free agent in the summer of 2019, but that felt like a consolation prize after missing out on the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. After a breakout season in a contract year with the Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson was seen as the missing piece that could turn the Knicks from a playoff contender to a championship contender.

However, there has not been a fairytale beginning in The Big Apple so far this season.

Through 15 games, the Knicks are just one game above .500. That’s a far cry from the expectations of the Madison Square Garden faithful. In addition to the steady guidance expected from Brunson at the point guard position and the tough-to-defend, inside/outside play of Randle, RJ Barrett was expected to contribute at an elite level.

Instead, Brunson and Randle have only shown flashes of their All-Star potential and Barrett has not yet taken the leap forward that many anticipated.

The New York Knicks are not off to the start their fanbase anticipated.

Sunday’s loss to the visiting OKC Thunder was particularly embarrassing. While the young upstart Thunder are certainly talented, giving up 145 points in front of the hometown fans is inexcusable. The Knicks’ ineptitude on the defensive side of the ball can be highlighted by the fact that they allowed the Thunder to knock down 17 3-pointers and shoot 62.5 percent from the field overall. Both of these stats are a recipe for disaster; it’s even worse when they happen during the same game.

In spite of the early struggles, fans in New York remain optimistic that the team can return to the playoffs. After all, the 82-game regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. While there is still time to change course and reach the postseason, the Knicks must display a sense of urgency in order to do so.

Let’s take a closer look at the adjustments the team must make if they are going to reach the playoffs this season.