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New York Knicks prediction: Which players can be the dark horses on this team for the 2021-22 NBA season?

Immanuel Quickley #5 of the New York Knicks
Immanuel Quickley #5 of the New York Knicks
ANALYST

Things have changed drastically in the New York Knicks camp, one that has brought a breath of fresh air and renewed hope to the franchise. The Knicks were not in the playoff conversation by this time last year but are now considered a team that could make a surprisingly deep run in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

Predicting the floor and ceiling for the New York Knicks is fairly easy based on how the team has set up in the offseason. While a playoff feature is all but guaranteed, emerging as champions of the Eastern Conference is a long shot.

The New York Knicks' acquisitions in the 2021 offseason deserve to be applauded as the front office did a decent job in bringing in players that could impact the game. Their acquisitions will help in improved ball movement and provide several secondary scoring options.

While fans are geeking out with the signings of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, a few other players are worth mentioning. Understandably, both acquisitions are elite scorers and playmakers and give the team a better chance at championship contention.


Which players could be dark horses for the New York Knicks for the 2021-22 NBA season?

Nerlens Noel #3 of the New York Knicks
Nerlens Noel #3 of the New York Knicks

Before the start of last season, all the players on the New York Knicks roster could have been considered dark horses following their overall poor display in the 2019-20 season. But since Tom Thibodeau's takeover, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have been the stars of the show.

For the 2021-22 season, the New York Knicks have several players that could be dark horses, starting with Nerlens Noel. Although he might return as a rotation player, his productivity for the Knicks will likely improve.

Noel got his chance as a starter to hold the fort while Mitchell Robinson was sidelined due to injury, and he did an exceptional job. He proved to be an elite rim protector, leading the team in steals (1.1) and blocks (2.2).

NERLENS NOEL MET FINNEY-SMITH AT THE RIM 😳(via @NBA)https://t.co/qBHDgEc84D

Unfortunately, he is not a significant contributor offensively. His average of 5.1 points for the 2020-21 season was incredibly poor considering he featured in 64 games and had 41 starts.

Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks will also turn heads in the 2021-22 NBA season. Granted, Rose is not the same player he was in his MVP year. Injuries have derailed the superstar's career, but he's finding his form again with the New York Knicks.

The three-time All-Star featured in only 35 games for the New York Knicks but averaged 14.9 points and was the team's second-best assist provider (4.2). Even at 32, he posted better numbers in points, assists, steals, and blocks than Elfrid Payton, who started 63 games for the Knicks.

🌹 28 PTS, 6 AST 🌹Derrick Rose puts on a show in his #NBAPreseason finale! https://t.co/qqiMOnbmLo

Burks' shooting was a joy to watch, as the veteran knocked down 41.5% on 5.0 attempts per game from beyond the arc. He also averaged double-digit points (12.7) while coming off the bench and had the third-most attempts from three-point range for the New York Knicks.

It will be exciting to see how Quickley has developed his game now that he's surrounded by elite-level ball-handlers. He is adept at driving to the rim, and who better to learn a thing or two from that D Rose?

The youngster also averaged double figures in points while coming off the bench last season, and production like that could be huge for the New York Knicks in the upcoming season.


Edited by Parimal
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