Why Knicks’ .500 record is more impressive than you think

The Knicks’ 4-4 record may not look particularly impressive at first glance, but when you consider the difficulty of this lineup, it’s nothing to scoff at.

At eight games, it is one of the toughest schedules in the NBA.

Of those opponents, only the Spurs weren’t a postseason team a year ago.

That included the Celtics, Bucks, Clippers and Cavaliers twice, as well as back-to-back sets.

And now the schedule is getting easier.

The Knicks host the Hornets at the Garden on Sunday, and eight of their next 12 games will be against teams that didn’t make it to the main round of the playoffs last season.

It should be noted that half of them are on the move.

But it’s definitely a lot easier than the first few weeks.

RJ Barrett celebrates after hitting a three-pointer in the Knicks' win over the Spurs.
RJ Barrett celebrates after hitting a three-pointer in the Knicks’ win over the Spurs.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

RJ Barrett got off to a fantastic start, especially from distance.

It’s only six games, a small sample size, but the 23-year-old winger is shooting a solid 47.1 percent from 3-point range on 5.7 attempts per game.

Last year he shot a career-worst 31 percent from distance.

“I think I was just trying to work on it and make sure my touch was right because they’re going to leave me open with Jalen [Brunson] and Julius [Randle] constantly getting into color,” he said. “So I have to knock down my shots.”

Typically a slow starter, he came after a strong performance at the FIBA ​​World Cup for Canada.

“That was definitely a big moment for me as a player. And then I just keep doing the same things that I know work for me,” Barrett said.

Isaiah Hartenstein had probably his best game of the young season in the win over the Spurs, scoring 13 points, three rebounds and two steals in 15 good minutes.

Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the New York Knicks celebrates a dunk against the San Antonio Spurs
Isaiah Hartenstein of the New York Knicks celebrates a dunk against the San Antonio Spurs.
Getty Images

So far this year, he’s averaging 6.9 points in just 17 minutes, an increase from the five points he scored a season ago.

“I thought the first half of last year he was just trying to figure it out. And I think in the second half of last year he played really, really well for us. And I think he picked up where he left off,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I think he’s gotten stronger and is handling contact a lot better. He has always been a very talented passer. This allows the floor to be opened.”

Chris Estrada

Chris Estrada is a WSTNewsPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chris Estrada joined WSTNewsPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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