Jalen Brunson impressed the New York Knicks in his preseason debut. The team’s future is looking good this season as they have a steady point guard.
The former Dallas Mavericks guard produces 16 points and five assists in just 20 minutes. His lucrative and surprising signing with the NY Knicks this offseason was worth $104 million in four years, this heated up a debate on whether he is overpaid or not. It is true! After his great performance against Detroit, he silenced his critics and proved why he can be the point guard that the organization has been longing for decades. Though there were still doubts if he can sustain this throughout the season without the presence of Luka Doncic on his side.
In this article, we will lay out our three observations from the Knicks’ preseason opener.
The Knicks Depth
With the addition of Jalen Brunson, many NBA GMs believe that the acquisition of the point guard will make a difference and a biggest positive impact this season. Last year, the Knicks fans had patiently watched Alec Burks running the offense – from sports analysts and fans perspective, Burks is not a point guard that the Knicks are looking for.
It is also worth considering the signing of Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The organization is still on the good spot of making a noise this season. RJ Barret is looking great despite being linked to trade rumors with Mitchell. Julius Randle is potentially back in 2020-2021 MIP form. Quickley and Toppin is also well-fit on the bench. The Knicks have a legit stretch five in Hartenstein. They have a veteran presence in the 2011 MVP Derrick Rose. All in all, the Knicks have great depth and could possibly pull an upset against giant teams in the regular seasons and could be back in a playoff contention mode.
A Better Chemistry and Ball movement
Last year, the major problem of the team was consistency. Julius Randle wasn’t himself. RJ Barrett struggles inside the paint. The team lacks floor general. The big men are mostly composed of veterans and undersized rookies. Now, despite the team failing to land Donovan Mitchell (who is now in the Cavs), the team still has a bright future. Many believe that the addition of Jalen Brunson will become a spark plug to boost the confidence of youngsters on the team like Cam Reddish, Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and many more. With the addition of a better point guard in Brunson while retaining the original roster. The adjustments in terms of chemistry and ball movement will not be a problem and it will be far, far more better than last year, or maybe the last time they made the playoffs.
The signing of this German-American big man is one of the best moves the Kicks did this last offseason. Their primary center in Mitchell Robinson will have a legit and better backup center who can also shoot threes, can dribble the ball, drive to the baskets, can block shots, and could make a difference in tightening the inside-paint defense of the team.
Hartenstein made an initial impact off the bench against Detroit. The Knicks demolished the Pistons in a 117-96 win. The seven-foot scored eight points with a 2-of-3 shooting from the three point line. His hot three point shooting against Detroit is really a great sign for the Knicks. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau will use Hartenstein to zag the defense of some high defensive teams like Bucks and Miami Heat. With Hartenstein as a back court, there will be no problem on the rotation as the team could still perform the plays on an excellent level.
The preseason opener of the New York Knicks is a good indicator of more good things to come this 2022-2023 season. The team looks to continue this winning energy against the Pacers at home this Saturday (PST).
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