The great philosopher and occasional pro basketball player LeBron James recently tweeted an unassailable truth, which is the NBA is “simply better off” when the New York Knicks are winning.
Who are we to disagree with the Chosen One?
All snark aside, James is right. The Knicks are one of those few franchises whose success elevates the overall league product.
Thankfully for the NBA and the Madison Square Garden faithful, the Knicks have been winning lately. A lot.
The Knickerbockers have won 10 out of their last 11 games. The recent stretch included a nine-game winning streak. Eight of those 10 Ws came at MSG.
It is late April and the New York Knicks are the hottest team in basketball.
(Note: Author puts hand on the ground to see if it has frozen — it has not).
New York Knicks getting cold shoulder from NJ sportsbooks
With nine games left in the 2021 season, New York is the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are a lock to make the NBA Playoffs this year for the first time since 2013.
The Knicks could make some noise in the NBA Playoffs, but New Jersey sportsbooks are not hearing it.
In February, FanDuel Sportsbook gave 250-1 odds of a Knicks’ NBA championship. Here’s proof:
Tibbs & JR making beautiful music together on Broadway
The Knicks’ winning ways can mostly be attributed to two men: Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and All-Star PF Julius Randle.
Thibodeau set the tone early with this young team, emphasizing defense, offensive efficiency, and effort. The Knicks lead the NBA in opponent points per game (104.7). They are third in the NBA in 3-point FG %, sixth in rebounds (45.4), and in the top-10 for average FGs made, average FGs attempted, FG %, and steals.
Randle, meanwhile, has emerged as a true star on Broadway. He leads the team in points per game (24.1), rebounds (10.4), and assists (5.9).
Add in a strong supporting cast and these Knicks are suddenly worthy of a long-awaited standing ovation. With Broadway shows still on hiatus, the timing couldn’t be any better.
AP Photo/Brittainy Newman