What to Expect from New York in the Second Half of the NBA

Jack Alfandre, Contributing Writer

Throughout the first half of the NBA season, many players and teams have put on spectacular performances of a caliber not seen for many years. New York City, in particular, has made an especially impressive impact on the league this year. 

The New York Knicks had a standout performance, shooting up from 12th seed in the East all the way to 5th around January and February. Not to mention, they also had their first all-star appearance with Julius Randle since the 2017-2018 season. Randle, who signed with the Knicks in 2019, is currently averaging 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, and nearly 6 assists per game. He is also the first Knicks player to have multiple triple-doubles (this is when a player has more than 10 of three stats in one game) in three decades! Considering that Randle is only 26, he has a promising future if he can keep this performance up.

Another stand-out team that has become a major talking point of the league is the Brooklyn Nets. After a blockbuster trade in January that landed former MVP and nine-time all-star James Harden on the team, they have soared to second seed in the Eastern Conference. Paired with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving who were already on the team, they have really gotten off to a good start together despite sports analysts predicting otherwise. The Nets also signed six-time all-star Blake Griffin only a few days ago. With Griffin joining the team, they will have a full all-star lineup, and, especially with Deandre Jordan at center, the Nets are starting to look a lot like the Warriors in 2019. 

After interviewing a student at Hastings High School named Ryan Shore I was able to get a better perspective about what other people expect for the second half of the season. When asked about what his favorite part of this NBA season was he replied with, “Probably seeing the Jazz progress they have been really good” and also seeing their better play style. He also said he wants to see who the best player overall is during the second half of the season. He claimed to have been looking at Bradley Beal the most over the season because he’s a great scorer on a bad team and he’s “pretty much just cashing his paycheck.” When asked if he thought he would win MVP he said he didn’t think so. He expects that the Nets will win the Eastern Conference finals putting them in the finals and that the Phoenix Suns will win the western conference finals. As to whether the Lakers will make it to the finals, he said that since Anthony Davis is injured they may have a harder time. For the last question, I asked how far he thinks the Knicks will get and he said, “they could make it to the second round of the playoffs”.

New York teams certainly are looking good for the future of the playoffs, but can they continue the great pace that they’ve kept up so far?