One of ESPN's most prominent basketball analysts is feeling the magic of autumn in New York.
As the days tick down toward the New York Knicks' tip-off contest on Oct. 19 in Memphis, their offseason work earned some praise from The Worldwide Leader's Bobby Marks, who described himself as "bullish" on the blue-and-orange.
The former assistant general manager in Brooklyn gave his former rival in Manhattan some love, hinting that the team is capable of winning 45 games. While Marks thinks that would place them short of six automatic Eastern Conference playoff berths, it'll likely secure them a spot in the four-team Play-In Tournament. For reference, last year's 10th and final Play-In seed, the Charlotte Hornets, won 43 games, six ahead of the Knicks in 11th.
Marks warns that there are several questions surrounding the team as they enter the latest chapter of a seemingly perpetual rebuild.
"What version of Julius Randle are we going to get?" Marks rhetorically asks before turning his attention over to former Dallas Maverick and fellow nine-figure man Jalen Brunson. "It's a little bit different when you're going from playing alongside Luca (Doncic) to now kind of being that featured role. It's easier when you're playing on that $1.8 million contract. But now you're on a $26-27 million contract and things are certainly a little bit different here."
Having said that, Marks does appear to like the Knicks' postseason chances, at least when it comes to the final four spots.
"Knock on wood ... I like this Knicks roster,” Marks says, scaring his dog with a literal tap on his desk. “I don’t like them as a top six, but I like them in that Play-In type of tournament. They could win 45 games here."
In addition to Brunson, the Knicks bolstered their interior game with the arrivals of Isaiah Hartenstein and re-upping with Mitchell Robinson. New York is looking to return to the playoffs after a one-year absence, winning 41 games during the shortened 2020-21 season to secure the East's fourth seed.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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