Yet another member of the New York Knicks made a bold proclamation about his team. In an interview on The Stashed’s 33rd and 77th podcast with Anthony Donahue, Knicks guard Brandon Jennings said that ending their three-year playoff drought would not be enough — they need to win at least one round. This follows Derrick Rose insisting that the Knicks are a superteam and Courtney Lee saying that they’re “contenders, man.”
“Playoffs is good, but just making the first round isn’t good enough,” Jennings said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Ian Begley. “So I’m going to go out on a limb and put a little more pressure on us. If we make the playoffs, we’ve got to get out of the first round.”
Well, Jennings is absolutely correct about one thing: that puts more pressure on New York, a team that finished 32-50 last season and 17-65 the year before. Jennings added that he’s “more hungry than ever” because he’s on a one-year deal, critics wrote him off after his Achilles injury and he’s excited to be in the NBA’s biggest market. He certainly sounds hungry.
It’s good that the Knicks guards are all confident. They should be optimistic at this time of year — why not think big? There’s a difference, though, between thinking big and telling everybody what you’re thinking. These comments won’t be forgotten, especially in a massive market, and that might be a problem if New York gets off to a rough start or simply has a decent season.
It’s easy to say that stuff like this doesn’t matter — everything is rosy before the games start, and the games are what count. Expectations have real consequences, though — if the Los Angeles Clippers finish around .500 and are eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, then they might blow up the roster; if the Orlando Magic do the same thing, then it will be seen as a smashing success. Let’s remember that the Knicks are much closer to being the Magic than being the Clippers, even if their players don’t see it that way.
Source: CBS Sports / Brandon Jennings says making the playoffs isn’t good enough for Knicks