The New York Knicks are building something special


John Minchillo | AP

Vasileios Michaelides

Something special is brewing in Madison Square Garden with the New York Knicks, starting from the top with President of Basketball Operations Leon Rose down to the court with head coach Tom Thibodeau and players like Julius Randle.. Even the fans in the stands and across the whole city are playing a huge role in this transformation.

The Knicks have gone from a league-wide laughing stock to a team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs. There is a reason some have nicknamed these Knicks  “the New York Grits.”

Not only have the Knickerbockers improved dramatically in the wins column, they have also  legitimate contenders in the running for the Most Valuable Player award, Julius Randle, and the Coach of the Year award, Tom Thibodeau.

At the time of writing, the Knicks are the fourth seed in the East. They recently  had a nine game winning streak snapped by Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns. That winning streak included victories over Ja Morant and the Grizzlies, Zion Williamson and the Pelicans, twice, and Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks just to name a few. During this winning streak their offense finally clicked, which is evident in the average of 118.5 points per game. The Knicks were struggling to score 100 before this stretch. A switch has absolutely been flipped.

The Knicks have hit their stride as the season winds down and they begin to prepare for their dreaded west coast trip to end the season.

Back to Julius Randle for a second. The player has, undoubtedly, inserted himself into the

MVP conversation. Randle probably won’t win the award though because the Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic has been phenomenal this year, but the Knicks all-star still deserves the recognition.

If we look at the term MVP, or Most Valuable Player at its core, guys like Julius Randle and Steph Curry should be, at least, in the conversation for the award. If those two players were injured or not playing for whatever reason, their respective teams would just not be the same.

According to ESPN, Julius is averaging 24 points, 10.5 rebounds and six assists per game. During the Knicks’ nine game winning streak, Randle upped his stats to an impressive 26.6 points, eight rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.

Another player who has taken a leap this season has been RJ Barrett. He has really come into his own lately and has reached a point where he has made the corner three ball his shot.

Whenever Barrett shoots, the Knicks fandom no longer braces for the worst.

RJ’s work in the gym, day in and day out, has materialized on the court, and it’s only up from here for the young starlet of New York.  Barrett will hopefully continue to improve his shooting as well as his playmaking and defense.

The most impressive thing about the Knicks season, is that they are united. The Knicks win together and they learn from losses like the one against Phoenix. There is a sense of camaraderie in this team like no other. This team may have better chemistry, both on and off the court than the “Knickstape” days with Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith. And the best thing is: this chemistry jumps off the screen when watching the Knicks together.

Every time a player takes a fall, every other Knicks player on the court rushes over to help them up. Off the court too, their chemistry is evident with these little snippets from the social media team, who puts up clips and pictures of the Knicks on Instagram and Twitter.

This Knicks team plays for each other, they play for the coach, but most importantly, they play for the city and the city has fallen in love with them for that.