If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. New York City, the city that doesn’t sleep and the place that makes all clichés and corny phrases come to life. And, of course, the home of some of the most passionate fans in the world.
Yankees, Knicks, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers… You can’t walk down the street without coming across dozens of jerseys and faithful supporters repping their hometown squad. And that also applies when they’re not exactly thriving.
New York is the latest state to launch sports betting and saw record numbers of customers joining the 4 sportsbooks who launched in the state on January 8, meaning that New Yorkers will now more than ever support their teams, this time also hoping to fill their pockets.
But with no MLB on and the Giants already out of the picture, most of the attention will most definitely focus on the city’s most beloved team: The New York Knicks. That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about the 5 best players for them this season.
5. Derrick Rose
This year is the same old story of always with Derrick Rose. He gets off to a strong start of the year, people make a buzz about whether he’s back, and then he gets hurt and misses most of the season. That’s the only reason why he’s not ranked higher on this list, as he’s been the best player for them this season.
Through 26 games (4 starts), the former MVP averaged an efficient 12.0 points per game to go along with 3.0 boards and 4.0 assists. Those numbers may not seem like a lot but notice that he was playing just 24 minutes a night, often taking over in crunch time.
4. Mitchell Robinson
There are just two things holding back Mitchell Robinson from becoming a star. He needs to say healthy and he needs to avoid getting into foul trouble. He has all the makings of a top-notch rim protector and his handles and scoring skills have improved considerably throughout the year.
Robinson has been pretty solid when on the court this season, averaging 8.4 points, 8.3 boards, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting a whopping 77.9% from the field on 25 minutes a night. Hopefully, he’ll stay healthy until the end of the season.
3. Immanuel Quickley
Immanuel Quickley failed to break out and take over as the Knicks’ starting point guard with Kemba Walker out of the rotation and Derrick Rose missing time. But even so, he’s been their biggest, most consistent offensive spark off the bench.
Often deemed the best youngster in the roster even ahead of Obi Toppin, the Kentucky product continues to make a fool out of defenders with his crafty moves and versatility. Thus far, he’s averaging 10.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
2. Julius Randle
Julius Randle went from being an All-Star and the Most Improved Player in the NBA to getting boos and jeers at Madison Square Garden. His game and efficiency regressed this season and he’s badly struggling to shake off double teams.
When Randle’s ok, the Knicks do more than fine, but he hasn’t been himself this season. Even so, he’s managed to put up big numbers of 18.7 points per game (team-high) to go along with 9.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 41.2% shooting. He needs to take over and finish the season strong.
1. RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett struggled early in the season but he’s been on a tear over the past month or so. His scoring average is trending up once again and he even knocked down an epic game-winning three-pointer over Jayson Tatum to earn the love and praise from the Knicks faithful.
The Canadian guard/forward continues to blossom as a more efficient scorer as the years go by. This season, he’s averaging 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.4 three-pointers per game while turning the ball over just 1.9 times a night. It took him a while but he’s getting it together once and for all.