D Is Key for the Knicks
*Photo via USA Today
There is no doubt the New York Knicks have already taken giant steps in their improvement from last season’s abysmal 17 win season. They already have 14 wins more than halfway through December. They have played well in stretches, but like most lottery teams, it takes time to play at a high level night in and night out. So after the Knicks opened above .500 through the first month of the season, naturally, the New York fan base overreacted and had this team marked for the playoffs. While the Knicks could end up sneaking in, they have reverted back to their old ways losing eight of the past 14 games, including two separate four game losing streaks.
Now they have won four in a row, but before that they were 2-8 in their last 10. A familiar issue plagued them during this recent skid, team defense. Knicks fans know all too well how bad the Knicks defense was last season, and this year they have made great strides improving their defense with the additions of Robin Lopez and super rookie Kristaps Porzingis. However, when the Knicks lose the result is normally correlated to their defensive effort. In their recent slump they have given up over 100 points in each of their last eight losses.
*Photo via NY Post
The key to the Knick’s success always comes back to defense. We know Carmelo will always get his points so long as he is healthy, and now, the players around him can actually hold their own unlike last year. Everyone on the Knicks has done a much better job with their effort and technique defensively, but the defensive lapse are going to continue to keep this team in mediocrity. The season and players are young, and there’s plenty of time to improve, the effort is there and the Knicks will eventually get consistent. Finally, the future looks bright for New York.