Knicks rookie Kevin Knox mentioned earlier this offseason that he believes his new team has the potential to make the playoffs this year. And that mindset hasn't wavered.
Appearing on ESPN's First Take, Knox didn't discuss the numbers he projects for himself this season. Instead, he has an idea of how many wins the Knicks need to get to be a playoff contender.
"Just to win," Knox said. "I feel like this is something you've got to do in New York, you've got to be able to win games.
"In the West, you need about 50. In the East, you can get around the 35-37 range and be able to make the playoffs."
Last season, the Bulls were the eighth seed out of the East with an even 41-41 record, so Knox' guess isn't too far off. But the Knicks won 29 games last season, and that included a long stretch with Kristaps Porzingis on the court before his ACL injury in February. Now, the Knicks have no clue whether the face of their franchise will be able to step foot on the court this season.
However, the Knicks did add Knox with their No. 9 overall selection as well as C Mitchell Robinson to add some presence on the glass. There is also free agents additions like Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh, who are expected to give more depth to David Fizdale's inaugural Knicks roster.
It obviously isn't impossible for the Knicks to shock the NBA world, and make a playoff run. And if they were to accomplish that, Knox knows the city will be flocking to Madison Square Garden for the first playoff game since the 2012-13 season.
"If we can get to the playoffs, that's something New York hasn't done in a while," Knox said. "So I feel like if we can win, get in the playoffs, the Garden's going to be crazy."
Knox realizes that he is going to play a vital role in the Knicks' success this season, and he knows exactly how to make the most impact from the get-go.
"I'm going to go into the season with the mindset that I'm going to attack every person that's guarding me," he said. "Every game I'm going to be able to attack the other team. People questioned that last year, but I think I'm a different person, got a different mentality this year. I know the Knicks, we're going to definitely make some noise this year so I'm really looking forward to this season."
Attacking opposing defenses is what Fizdale has been preaching since he accepted the Knicks' offer. He is already trying to get 2017 first-rounder Frank Ntilikina to use his 6-foot-6 frame and get to the hoop more often.
Knox admits Fizdale is also preaching this gameplan to him as well.
"He wants me to stay in attack mode," Knox said. "He wants me to be really aggressive on the offensive end, be able to make plays for my teammates. On defense, be able to guard the best player on the other team. That's a big responsibility for me to take, but I'm really looking forward to it. I've been working really hard this summer."
If Knox wants to see his playoff dreams come true in his rookie season, the entire team will have to be on attack mode to make that run.