It’s been a long time since the New York Knicks were a fun basketball team. The 2012-13 Knicks were the closest thing to fun we’ve seen in the Garden in more than a decade, as Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith shot their way into our hearts by getting buckets.
Otherwise, the Knicks have been miserable to watch since 2001. That 2012-13 squad was one of three to make the playoffs (the last in a three year run of playoff teams, the first two of which lost in the first round), and since then Knicks fans have endured the Phil Jackson era, as he insisted on the team running the triangle and failed to surround Anthony with anything close to resembling a talented team.
The one good thing to come out of the Jackson era is Kristaps Porzingis, the 22-year-old budding superstar that the Knicks selected No. 4 overall in the 2015 NBA draft. Entering his third season, Porzingis was handed the keys to the franchise as they dealt Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Knicks looked awful early in the season with lopsided losses to the Thunder and the Celtics in the first three games (two superiorly talented teams) and the first official year of New York’s rebuild looked like it was going to be another rough one for fans when the reached 0-3.
However, since that loss to the Celtics, New York has ripped off five wins in their last six games and Porzingis has emerged as one of the NBA’s top stars. Not only is he putting up video game type numbers, averaging 30.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game with a 50.0/35.7/82.6 shooting split, but he’s done the seemingly impossible in turning the 2017-18 Knicks into a fun basketball team to watch.