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What Should Knick Fans Look For In Second Half?

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The New York Knicks (17-38) have missed the playoffs the past six seasons. New York fans have been sold on a “rebuild” that seems to be an annual tradition. However, the hope has always remained that the allure of the Garden can bring in top free agents.

The Brooklyn Nets proved that winning in New York City has trumped tradition through landing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. New York had no option but to change their free agency plan.

In the first half of the season, the Knicks have matched their win total from last season (17). Though this New York team is far from contention, there are some things to look out for which can make Knick faithful optimistic.

Elfrid Payton has been a free agency pick up, that many overlooked coming into the season. Payton did have some injuries to start the season, but had turned it up closing out the first half of the season. In his last ten games, Payton has averaged almost a double double (13.3 PPG, 9.6 APG).

When healthy, Payton has looked every bit of the answer at the point guard position. If his stellar play can continue, it’ll be interesting to see if Payton can solidify a role with the Knicks in the future.

Julius Randle has also been playing well in the last ten games going into All Star break. Randle has averaged a double double (21.3 PPG, 11.7 APG), and looks a lot more comfortable in New York. The play of Payton and Randle vaulted the Knicks to winning four of their last six games, which gives fans some hope.

With the trade of Marcus Morris Sr., there is plenty of scoring slack to pick up. Fans should keep an eye out to see who can play themselves into a significant role moving forward. This second half of the season is critical for guys like Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox II, Dennis Smith Jr., Maurice Harkless & Reggie Bullock who’s future isn’t exactly certain in New York.

Coach Mike Miller has done a great job, since taking over for David Fizdale mid season. However, many believe that Miller will not continue going into next season. It will be interesting if Miller can speed up the Knicks growth, and silence the talk of Tom Thibodeau being the coach next season.

Friday night, New York will look to snap a two game skid, when the Indiana Pacers step into the Garden. This will be our first chance to see how everything will start to unfold for New York in the second half of the season.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

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