The season is over, well over as a matter of fact, and until the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 14th, you imagine that there will be very little to talk about other than the same speculation that has happened all season long about the Knicks and 2019 free agency targets.
With the long-awaited finale to Marvel’s superhero franchise, Avengers: Endgame about to hit cinemas nationwide, I thought I’d give my take on some of the current Knicks players ‘superpowers’ so to speak. Sit back, relax and engage your inner silliness for this one.
Mitchell Robinson – The Iron Palm
A natural place to start really. Mitch’s ability to block a shot is mesmerizing, super-human if you will. As per basketball-reference.com, Robinson sauntered to the blocks per game title with a stunning 161 blocks in just 1360 minutes of play. That’s less than one every 8.5 minutes. Robinson finished fourth in the NBA behind Myles Turner, Rudy Gobert and Brook Lopez, who all played at least 750 more minutes than he did throughout the season.
For a second round pick who didn’t play a lick of college ball, his returns for drafting him have been plentiful, and with a little refining to his game in terms of cutting down on the ill-advised fouls, and he will be one of the greatest success stories of the 2018 NBA Draft.
Dennis Smith Jr – The Leaper
Dennis Smith Jr has some serious hops. Trust us. Having entered back-to-back NBA Dunk Contests during the All-Star break, Smith Jr has shown extreme athleticism to pull off some of the most insane dunks, including one over the 6ft 4in legend that is Dwyane Wade. Many people may not know this, but Smith Jr’s ability to jump ‘out of the gym’ isn’t just smoke and mirrors, he actually entered the NBA record books for it.
Back in 2017 during the build-up to the NBA Draft, during a work out with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dennis recorded a vertical jump of 48 inches, tying the record for the highest vertical jump in NBA history. Who did he share the accolade with you might ask? One Wilt Chamberlain… and also Darrell Griffith.
Allonzo Trier – Crazy Hands
If you believe in taking your chances in life, just like Allonzo Trier did when he earned himself a two-way contract with the Knicks, then a bright future is on the horizon for you. Trier burst onto the scene out of nowhere after going undrafted out of Arizona, but soon proved teams who passed on him wrong when he became a match-up nightmare during the first third of the season. However, it’s his ball-handling ability that has earned him the most praise.
From an article on slamonline.com, Max Resetar says: “He mixes a combination of ball handling and agility together to create a dizzying offensive arsenal… He’s got one-two dribble combos, a tough stepback option, and a fast behind-the-back move.”
DeAndre Jordan – Doctor Never-Miss
I still find it odd seeing DeAndre Jordan in a Knicks uniform, but I guess that’s the beautiful game we call basketball. One of those players who just screams ‘Western Conference’ given his long career in the league balling on the other side of the nation, Jordan still holds one of the most impressive stats in the National Basketball Association history. Jordan has THE best field goal percentage since the NBA started, shooting a flicker under 69%. Even more impressively, second in the record books is Tyson Chandler who averages 59.6%, which is significantly less than Jordan. That must be some record to hold, and definitely garners a round of applause from us all at New York Sports Nation. His free throw stats, however, we’re going to have to quickly move on I’m afraid…
Frank Ntilikina – The Gnat
I’ve reached slightly on this one, but don’t worry, there is a reason for comparing our loveable French prince to a pesky fly that seems relatively harmless, but just won’t leave you alone, leaving you flustered. Yup, that’s Frank. One of the most dogged defenders I have seen in a Knicks uniform for a few seasons now, Frank’s defense is definitely his best asset because let’s face it, he isn’t exactly the sharpest shooters on offense, hence why his superhero name isn’t ‘The Wasp’.
There isn’t exactly much sting in the tail. However, like the gnat, he will follow you everywhere, left and right, until you just want him off you. Ntilikina has been very good at forcing players into uncomfortable positions where he’s had to just throw up a shot or make an ill-advised pass. That’s our gnat (sorry Frank!)
P.S. Zion Williamson – Thanos
Because, why not…