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The Future Of The Knicks Is Brighter Than It Has Been At Any Point This Century And Knicks Fans Should Be Excited About It

Elsa. Getty Images.

I think enough time has passed for the sting of Friday night to go away. If people who fought in Rough N Rowdy that night can go to work today (BuyRNR.com!), then I think I can talk about my favorite NBA team getting bounced from the playoffs by one of its hated rivals.

To be clear, I can't even get that upset about the Knicks losing to the Heat because most people had the Knicks barely making the play-in game this season. Meanwhile the Heat have been following the same formula to make playoff runs dating back to when the Knicks were actually an annual contender. The Heat have long relied on good coaching and tough play to get the most out of a couple of stars, a couple of aging vets, and a few undrafted guys nobody has heard of until they started making big shots in South Beach out of the goddamn blue. Or they would sign LeBron and Chris Bosh to play with Dwyane Wade. Both were very successful strategies. Besides, I don't know if the Knicks would've even gotten to Game 6 against the Bucks considering how the regular season played out, the Bucks experience, and Giannis getting healthier, even if Thibs would've been running circles around Coach Bud.

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Okay, I've had enough giving the Heat credit for being tough as fuck because it's making me sick to my stomach. This blog is about the Knicks being in the best shape as a franchise than they have been at any point in the 2000s, which admittedly isn't saying much. But trust me it's true and it's thanks to these three guys.

Giphy Images.

Thanks for the best Knicks point guard I've ever had in my life, Mark! Best of luck in the lottery tomorrow you tanking motherfucker. I'd point out that two of the four teams in the conference finals were play-in teams but neither of them started sinking like a stone after they traded for Kyrie Irving.

- First things first, Jalen Brunson is the guy. Not a guy, but The Guy. I want the Knicks to put a C on his jersey today even if the NBA doesn't do that for captains anymore. Jalen showed up and was the leader of the franchise from Day 1, even as fucking morons were calling him overrated, overpaid, and any other negative word that starts with "over".

I know his numbers were great in the playoffs outside of the a couple of games. But it was the way he kept coming back and was pretty much the only Knick that showed up in Game 6 is what has me more confident than ever that we actually have a guy that can turn this franchise into a perennial contender again and may even get some stars interested in actually coming here since NBA players know a hell of a lot more than the morons that were talking shit about Brunson.

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- Speaking of which, I am officially all in on Photoshop Season again, which for the uninformed is when us Knicks fans get bricked up like we just got a Brick Watch every time we see a superstar from another team wearing a Photoshopped Knicks jersey. This year's crop includes Giannis, KAT, and the reigning MVP.

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All three of those guys have been hit with some shots due to their play in the playoffs and/or comments after being eliminated from the playoffs. But I can live with any of their shortcomings when this is what the engine of the team said after his team got bounced from the postseason.

To be clear, Giannis is clearly the number 1 prize of those three followed by Embiid and the Towns, who I am terrified of being the target of an angry New York media and fanbase regardless of where he grew up. Nonetheless, it's nice to at least dream about guys like this being on the Knicks again after KD and Kyrie pretty much killed those types of thoughts by signing in New York City without even giving the Knicks a meeting.

Obligatory video:

- As for the guy that actually gave the Knicks a meeting that summer which led to the Knicks giving him a bunch of money, I want to be blindly behind Julius Randle. I truly do. But every single Knicks fan on the planet has seen way too much bad in the playoffs to outweigh the good from the 20-21 and 22-23 regular seasons to be all in on him. I'm not even talking about all the missed shots, which to be clear are quite a problem for a guy that has made All NBA during those two good seasons. I'm talking about the dogshit body language that came along with that awful play, just like it did last season.

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I think every Knicks fan wants to move Randle, even though they would be selling about as low as you can for a guy that just made an All NBA team. But the goal is not to make the playoffs, it's to win them. And there has been almost nothing Randle has shown during the spring that makes me think he will be a starter for a Knicks team that can do that.

- RJ is the third lefty star on this team, which is oddly fitting since the Knicks can look so good and so bad on certain nights just like a lefty's shot. I think most Knicks fans have sold their RJ stock, rebought it, then sold it again. I know I was ready to put him on the Get The Fuck Off My Team list following his first two games of these playoffs. But there is no denying how well he played after that rough start before the Game 6 from Hell in Miami and the fact he is somehow still just 22 years old has me believing he could break through to another level. 

Plus any time I get bummed that he hasn't already reached a superstar level by the age of 21, I tell myself these wise words:

- I would like Mitchell Robinson to post videos of him shooting free throws instead of threes this offseason. Is that too much to ask? I know I sound every bit as old as I am by saying that. But until he starts shooting and hitting threes like Brook Lopez started doing out of nowhere, can he focus on the shots he actually does take and often miss?

- I would also like Josh Hart to shoot as many threes as his arms will allow him to hoist this offseason because he is so important to the Knicks when he's on the floor but opposing teams need to respect his shot for the spacing to work. Besides, I feel like you have to be at the very least a good three point shooter to wear number 3, whether its in AAU, college, or the NBA.

Josh's outside shot may have cost him a few million dollars per year on his next contract, but I still think he will be here based on how much Thibs, our Point God, and the fans loved him.

- I don't know nearly enough about every player on this list of free agents to have an opinion. But give me a couple of guys that can shoot from deep because I can't watch RJ and Hart continue to shoot threes in big spots during the playoffs.

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I'm clearly biased, but sign me up for Seth Curry just because of his genes and the fact I can tweet this gif whenever he hits a big shot.

- I'm willing to write off IQ's rough playoffs since he is still very young (even though he is a year older than RJ, which feels crazy). But not having his energy and scoring killed this team, regardless of if he was healthy or injured. I'm also willing to admit that Obi's probably going to end up scoring a bunch of points somewhere else because it doesn't feel like his destiny isn't here at least with Thibs as coach.

- Quentin Grimes was always going to be one of those guys I believe in because he can shoot and I like his defense. But this play will have him in my good graces even if he shoots 2-for-18 in Game 7 of The Finals (sorry if that reference was too soon for some people).

- Speaking of Thibs, I've long said I don't think he's going to be the guy that coaches the Knicks once they become an annual contender again. I think he is the guy that cleaned up a lot of shit that years of losing left behind and played a huge role in making this a professional basketball franchise again. But it seems like changes and adjustments are still like pulling teeth for him, which will sooner or later piss off the wrong person in the front office. 

Plus if the Knicks actually get another superstar to pair with Jalen Brunson, they will probably pull a power play for a guy they like. Especially if that superstar is Joel Embiid because I'm pretty sure his body would break during its first practice with Thibs.

- Finally, it's be In Leon We Trust since Day 1 and nothing I have seen has changed that. 

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Okay, those Kemba, Fournier, and Noel deals were a big reason last season was a fucking nightmare that ended with Randle taking on the entire city of New York. But almost all of them are already off the books, with Fournier's expiring being on the move likely in the coming months, and the Knicks appearing to be in shape to have the type of assets that allows them to pursue a star since I think most people have forgotten James Dolan owns the team because it's been months since he's committed a nonsense.

Now take the sheets off the Knicks bed until the fall then let Leon and Worldwide Wes COOK!

I love this picture so much.

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