Detroit Pistons: The New York Knicks offseason and how the Pistons match up


After an offseason where the most eventful changes happened in the front office, the New York Knicks appear, once again, to be on the outside of the playoff picture. We’ll look at how the Detroit Pistons match up.

Three days prior to the official start to free agency this summer, the New York Knicks stole the headlines by announcing that the franchise and team president Phil Jackson were parting ways.  Jackson’s three-year tenure as team president was fraught with turmoil lacking in success, so the move was a welcomed sight for many Knicks fans.

Without clear leadership in the front office for the first two weeks of July, the Knicks had little success in the critical beginning of free agency.  They grossly overpaid Tim Hardaway, Jr. when they signed him to a four year, $71 million offer sheet that the Atlanta Hawks declined to match.  The Knicks made no additional moves until August, when they signed Ramon Sessions and Michael Beasley, and re-signed bench guard Ron Baker.

The Knicks only other significant player acquisition this summer came when they drafted and signed Frank Ntilikina, a 19-year-old guard from France.  Ntilikina enters the New York scene as a lanky 6’6 combo guard who should provide defensive versatility but has numerous question marks regarding his offensive abilities.

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When the Detroit Pistons play the Knicks in 2017-18, they’ll see a team that looks mostly similar to the team it saw last year.  But, the Pistons will be looking to improve on their 2-2 record against the Knicks last season.


The Pistons will have a significant backcourt advantage during their matchups against New York next season.  Reggie Jackson and Avery Bradley will likely be facing Ron Baker and Hardaway, Jr., neither of whom has a realistic opportunity of providing much resistance to the Detroit backcourt.  When the Detroit Pistons are on defense, Ron Baker, who is not a particularly dynamic offensive player, will allow the Pistons to hide Jackson a bit defensively.  Given the questions as to Jackson’s health, Detroit will certainly welcome every opportunity they can to give Jackson a break on the defensive end of the floor.


If the Knicks are going to find some success against the Pistons again in 2016-17, it will likely come from the forward position.  Carmelo Anthony, who has been the subject of trade rumors all summer, can still score a boatload of points on any given night.  Anthony’s explosive offensive game could prove a good test for the young Stanley Johnson, who would be the most likely option for the Pistons defensively.

Detroit will certainly need to do a better job defending Kristaps Porzingis, if they are going to improve on their season split with New York.  Porzingis gave the Pistons fits, scoring 35 points in New York’s November win and adding another 25 points in their win in March.  The ability of Porzingis to score from all spots on the court gave Detroit a lot of trouble in 2016-17, and that will undoubtedly be a point of emphasis for the Pistons in their matchups against New York next season.


The Knicks bench should be less than stellar this year, with it featuring Courtney Lee, Michael Beasley, and a beleaguered Joakim Noah.  The Pistons should be able to take advantage of the New York bench, after having strengthened their own this summer, by drafting Luke Kennard and signing Langston Galloway.

Next: Pistons Film: Reggie Jackson in transition

Overall, the Pistons should have significant advantages at most positions on the floor against the Knicks this season.  If they can find a way to slow down Porzingis better than they did last season, they could sweep the season series in their quest to return to the playoffs in 2018.