The New York Knicks‘ fresh start officially begins on Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Phil Jackson is gone, a new front office is in place and Carmelo Anthony is in Oklahoma City playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, meaning this is officially Kristaps Porzingis’ team.
The problem is, the book is still out on Porzingis’ supporting cast as a series of question marks surround the young Latvian.
Whether it’s developing rookies or veterans looking to prove their place, the Knicks are bound to have their work cut out for them this season.
Here is how we think their starting lineup will look on opening night:
Ramon Sessions (PG)
With Frank Ntilikina battling knee and groin issues all offseason, it would be unfair to thrust him into the starting role as soon as he comes back considering he missed the entire Summer League and most of the preseason. Sessions is a veteran presence who knows how to manage a game after 10 years in the league.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG)
It’s imperative that Hardaway gets his second stint with the Knicks started on the right foot after signing a four-year, $71 million deal over the summer. Coming off a career-high 14.5 points per game last season with the Hawks, Hardaway will be looked upon as a secondary scorer alongside Porzingis.
Courtney Lee (SF)
While it might be puzzling to some seeing a shooting guard taking over the 3 after Melo’s departure, but Lee will be at the spot mainly because of his defense. His speed could be huge when guarding some the opposition’s best swingmen and will be on a familiar face come opening night in Anthony.
Kristaps Porzingis (PF)
While there are those who believe he is better suited as a center, Porzingis has expressed his comfort at the position which should be good enough for the Knicks. The 7’3″ unicorn is unguardable when he’s on, proving he can score from anywhere on the floor. As long as he’s healthy, expect a career year and All-Star campaign.
Willy Hernangomez (C)
In a crowded frontcourt, Hernangomez might be given the nod after showing what he could do in a starting role during the preseason. While Enes Kanter sat, he put up a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds against the Brooklyn Nets. Given how high the team is on the young Spaniard, we could see the veteran Kanter coming off the bench.