New York Knicks’ front office has ‘playoffs or bust’ expectations

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 07: General manager Scott Perry of the New York Knicks talks on a phone as he attends a game between the Knicks and the Phoenix Suns during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The New York Knicks front office is feeling the heat rise. They knew, coming into the season, that it had to be playoffs or bust. 

According to Ian Begley of SNY, the New York Knicks front office had lofty expectations for the season. Begley reports that the Knicks told former head coach David Fizdale before the season that it was NBA Playoffs or bust.

They believed they put together a roster that should contend for a playoff spot in the east. When Fizdale put together an awful start to the year, the front office felt he had to go. They couldn’t risk missing the playoffs yet again.

Despite making a coaching change, the Knicks are still one of the worst teams in the NBA. They are second to last in the Eastern Conference and seven and a half games out of a playoff spot. They have the third-worst record in the NBA.

They’re on pace to have top odds for the first pick in the draft for a second straight season. That earned the Knicks the third pick in 2019, which landed them RJ Barrett.

Barrett’s seen an up and down rookie season that’s not likely to finish with a Rookie of the Year award. Out of rookies who’ve played at least 35 games this season Barret ranks third in scoring, third in rebounding, fifth in assists, 16th in field goal percentage, 14th in three-point percentage, third in steals and 10th in blocks.

It’s clear that Barrett’s one of the best rookies in this class. He looks like he’s the second-best player behind only Ja Morant right now. He’ll likely drop down to third once Zion Williamson gets serious playing time.

That said, he isn’t ready to be the face of the team. Yet, the Knicks front office thought that a team led by Barrett and free-agent additions Julius Randle and Marcus Morris was a playoff contender?

The seat is getting hot for general manager Scott Perry and president Steve Mills. If things don’t turn around quick this could be their last season in charge.

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