The Knicks made a few improvements this offseason, and have a new head coach in David Fizdale to lead the pack in the 2018-19 season. So why is it that Vegas believes they will virtually have the same season as last year?
New York finished 29-53 last season, and Westgate Last Vegas set their current over/under projection at 29.5 wins. That gives them the fifth-fewest wins among the 30 NBA teams.
But Vegas may have a point in thinking the Knicks will be the same below-average squad they were a year ago.
For one, it isn't known whether or not their best player, All-Star F Kristaps Porzingis, will be able to make it back to the hardwood this season. Porzingis was the main reason for the Knicks' surge at the beginning of the season, as he was averaging over 30 points per game before cooling down.
The Knicks consistently gave Porzingis the ball in crunch time as well, and it isn't known who will be taking over that role this season.
But what about the Knicks' draft picks this year? Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson showcased just how good they could be during their Las Vegas Summer League games. Knox displayed his scoring ability that he was primarily drafted for, and Robinson's raw talent is certainly something to watch this season.
But these are also two young rookies that are going to need development before they can reach their full potential. They are surrounded by a young squad with Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay in the backcourt. Tim Hardaway Jr. at age 26 is expected to be a veteran leader as well.
The Knicks did make a couple free-agent acquisitions in Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh, but there isn't much to take away from these two. Hezonja saw a minutes bump that led to more production last season with the Magic, but the 23-year-old has yet to showcase consistent shooting from the perimeter, which he molds his game around.
Vonleh was a depth player with the Bulls last season, and since he came into the league in 2014, he has been on three teams.
Though it seems like a low number, Vegas seems skeptical to think the Knicks will see that much of an improvement despite another year in their rebuild. This group does have potential to work well if Fizdale can get them to buy into his system.
But, with such a young roster that needs time to grow together, Vegas is siding with the rest of the experts that believe another year of mediocrity will fall over the Knicks.