The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.
Where do the New York Knicks stand at the All-Star Break?
Playoff Chances: 0.1%
Championship Odds: +80000
Division Odds: +50000
Conference Championship Winner: +60000
ROY: RJ Barrett (+5000)
[insert comical Benny Hill theme]
Without even getting into what’s physically taking place on the court at Madison Square Garden, here’s a quick encapsulation of what’s been going on with the Knicks in the past few weeks. They got into a fourth quarter brawl against the Grizzlies because Memphis was trying too hard; they fired their Team President and lost sight of their long-term solution (Masai Ujiri) in less than 48 hours; the hot water in MSG’s visitor’s locker room stopped working; they traded arguably their most competent player in Marcus Morris to the Clippers; and, finally, the man in charge of the team’s re-branding initiative got in hot water on “First Take” by comparing himself to Drake and insinuating that Mike Miller needed to be fired.
This organization is insane.
Prediction: [insert comical Benny Hill theme]
Key Injuries for New York Knicks
It’s rare anyone gets the chance to suggest that New York is lucky in any aspect pertaining to basketball, but it has managed to stay relatively healthy all season long. Heck, even the oft-injured Mitchell Robinson has found himself able to appear in 51 of the Knicks’ 55 games heading into the All-Star Break.
Still, from a futuristic standpoint, the most important element of New York’s second-half is RJ Barrett. The rookie has only recently returned from a nine-game absence due to an ankle issue, but it would be in the best interest of the franchise for Barrett to log as many minutes as humanly possible down the stretch. The 19-year-old has struggled in his first taste of NBA action, shooting just 38.8% from the field and averaging almost as many turnovers per contest (2.1) as assists (2.4). Yet, as the Knicks’ head coach preached earlier this week, “It’s all about development.”
Fantasy Basketball Spotlight: Elfrid Payton
As you might have guessed by this point, there’s not a whole lot to love about what’s going on in New York. However, Elfrid Payton has been a bit of a bright spot as of late, especially from a fantasy perspective. In his past five starts, the former lottery pick has averaged 14.6 points, 9.6 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game, while also sitting fourth in the entire league in touches per night (94.4) within that same span. The only three players Payton is trailing? Nikola Jokic, Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons. On top of that, the 25-year-old has exceeded 30.0 DKFP in 12-straight contests, oddly showcasing one of the NBA’s highest floors in DFS. He’s clearly emerged above Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina as the Knicks’ primary point guard.
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