June 17, 2024

“The Knicks Don’t Have A Player Better Than [Paolo] Banchero,” NBA Analyst Kenny Smith Claims

Last season, the New York Knicks were just two games away from a trip to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals. The duo of Jalen Brunson and two-time All-Star Julius Randle proved to be a successful pairing in their first season together. However, TNT’s NBA analyst Kenny Smith thinks the Knicks won’t get over the hump because they’re missing a star player.

Kenny Smith takes shot at his former team - Basketball Network - Your daily dose of basketball


During a segment on TNT’s Inside the NBA, Smith implied that the Knicks are good, not great. Smith cites their lack of star power as the main reason, claiming that the Knicks have the second-best player on the court more often than not. While the Knicks are a deep team with talented players like Brunson and Randle, Smith thinks they aren’t a threat because of this.

“This is why the Knicks are going to stay in the middle. Every game that they play, they always have the second-best player,” Smith said. “You play Boston, you’ve got the second or third best player. You play Orlando with [Paolo] Banchero, they don’t have a player that’s better than Banchero. “Milwaukee, we know they don’t. Philadelphia, they don’t,” Smith added.

Paolo Banchero's goals are lofty, even for a No. 1 pick, but he's backing them up so far

While this may be a harsh reality, the Knicks are sitting at 12-8 and currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The team has enjoyed a great start to the season but it seems as though Smith and others around the NBA aren’t prepared to take the Knicks seriously as a title contender with the roster as currently constructed.

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