New York Knicks: 2020-21 Season Report Card for Each Player

The New York Knicks season ended after their first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. It’s time to grade each Knick for this 2020-21 season.

Julius Randle

The New York Knicks clearly would not have had the regular season improvement they had without Randle. Julius had the regular season of his life. Averaged 24.1 points per game, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Also shot 41% from three point land and 81% from the free throw line.

He became more of a team oriented player and others have benefited as well. As a result, he became an NBA All Star for the first time and won Most Improved Player award.

Was on his way to a clear A grade until unfortunately his playoff performance. After averaging 37 points vs the Atlanta Hawks in the regular season, he only averaged 18 points against them in the playoffs and also shot 30% from the field.

His playoff flop will still not completely diminish his tremendous regular season and one that he can build on for in the future.

Grade: A-

RJ Barrett

After an uneven rookie season, R.J. took a step up in his second year. Raised his scoring average from 14.3 points to 17.6 points. His improved shooting was the biggest factor. Raised his three point percentage from 32% to 40% and improved his free throw percentage from 61% to 75%.

Like Randle though, Barrett also had a subpar playoff debut. Averaged 14.4 points but shot 39% from the field and 29% from three point range.

But he is only 20 years old, so plenty of room to grow and be a big future piece for the Knicks for years to come.

Grade: B+

Reggie Bullock

Did what was expected of him. 3 and D. Did it exceptionally well towards the end of the regular season. Shot 41% from three point range and played tough perimeter defense on some of the opponents top guards.

Had an uneven playoff series but was a huge factor in the Knicks only win in Game 2.

Bullock will be a free agent in the offseason, so the Knicks will have to make a decision on him. He has been their X-Factor all year, so wouldn’t be surprised if he’s brought back.

Grade: B

Alec Burks

Like Bullock, Burks is also a 3 and D guard. When he was healthy, he also provided perimeter defense and shooting at 42% from downtown. He also played some point guard at times down the stretch in close games.

Burks also had an uneven postseason. Scored a team high 27 points in Game 1 but not much else afterwards. He too will be a free agent this offseason.

Grade: B

Elfrid Payton

One of the least popular Knicks players among most fans. Payton was the starting point guard all season. Did have his moments at times offensively but struggled mightily down the stretch. Eventually got benched during the playoffs and didn’t play at all after Game 2. He will most likely not be brought back next season.

Grade: C-

Nerlens Noel

Became a big factor at the center position after Mitchell Robinson went down. Became the glue at defense with his shot blocking prowess. Averaged 2.2 blocks which placed him third in the league in that category.

Unfortunately he sprained his ankle in Game 1 and he was never the same for the rest of the playoffs. Noel is also a free agent.

Grade: B+

Derrick Rose

Was acquired in a midseason trade and his second stint with the Knicks was one to remember. Was a constant spark off the bench with his energy, scoring and playmaking. Still has the athleticism to drive to the lane and he also improved his perimeter shooting as well. After Randle, Rose became the Knicks most efficient scorer down the stretch.

And he continued it on in the playoffs whether coming off the bench or starting. Rose averaged 19.4 points vs the Hawks and was clearly the Knicks most efficient player in that series.

Rose will be a free agent as well and the Knicks bringing him back is crucial.

Grade: A-

Immanuel Quickley

Clearly the steal of the NBA Draft. Projected to be a second round pick, he became a late first rounder and rewarded the New York Knicks with an impressive rookie year.

Averaged double digit in points off the bench with 11.4. Also shot 39% from three point land and 89% from the free throw line. Also became a constant spark off the bench with his perimeter shooting and floaters down the lane.

At only 21 years old, looks to be another key future cog for the Knicks for years to come.

Grade: B+

Taj Gibson

Like Rose, Taj is also a Tom Thibodeau guy and it’s paid dividends. Gibson did what the Knicks expected him as a big man. Played tough, physical interior defense, rebounded and provided hustle and grit. His production came beyond the stat sheet. Gibson was also a huge help down low for the Knicks after Mitchell Robinson got injured.

Gibson, like many other Knicks will also be a free agent. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Knicks bring back especially since he’s a Thibs guy.

Grade: B+

Players who received Incomplete grades due to not playing many games during the season.

Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Theo Pinson

Coach Tom Thibodeau

One of the best coaching moments ever. Took over a constant losing team and totally turned it around. From a 21 win team a year ago, the Knicks won 41 games this year under Thibs and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Totally changed the culture by getting the New York Knicks to finally play hard nosed team defense and play at a competitive level game after game. And the results showed.

Didn’t fair that well in the playoffs, getting outcoached by Hawks coach Nate McMillan. Could’ve made more adjustments when the Knicks kept struggling during the series.

But overall, definitely a success in how Thibs made the Knicks watchable again and made Madison Square Garden the place to be possibly for future free agents.

Grade: A-

What do you think? Were the grades for each Knick fair and accurate? Leave a comment below.

Rattle the rim with IroniqMedia for all your NBA coverage by clicking here.

Follow David on Twitter @PowermetsA.

Facebook Comments:
%d bloggers like this: