Stan Van Gundy
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Former NBA head coach and current analyst Stan Van Gundy believes the New York Knicks are a step above the “unwatchable” phase.

Rejoice, New York Knicks fans. Your team is slowly but surely getting on the right track. The keyword in that statement is “slowly.” Don’t get ahead of yourselves thinking this organization is playoff-bound just yet.

On Wednesday, basketball analyst and long-time NBA coach Stan Van Gundy took part in a conference call with Marc Berman of the New York Post. For the record, last year, the former NBA head coach deemed the Knicks as “unwatchable,” which is a fair take. The organization did indeed end up with its worst finish to a season, achieving a horrid 17-65 record. However, for this upcoming season, Van Gundy is giving the Knicks just a tad bit more credit.

“I don’t think they are a playoff team,” he said. “But I will say this: I thought their front office, [general manager] Scott Perry and [president] Steve Mills, did a good job. They got raked over the coals. Everyone expected them to get one of the major free agents and they didn’t. They went to Plan B and did a good job and got more competitive.”

“Plan B” refers to the inking of numerous short-term deals this past summer. This came after the Knicks failed to land big-name free agents such as Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

“[The Knicks] can chase free agents next summer, but also left themselves flexibility for the [new] guys who play well — they have options and can re-sign them,” Van Gundy added. “I think they are headed in the right direction — a better direction than they were before. But it’s going to be a long process.”

New York fell to 1-2 in their four-game preseason slate on Wednesday night with a 100-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks will have their final preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. Their 82-game regular-season slate commences on Oct. 23 at 8:30 p.m. in San Antonio.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.