New York Knicks: How NY has transformed into the hottest team in the NBA

New York Knicks RJ Barrett and Julius Randle (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks RJ Barrett and Julius Randle (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks Tom Thibodeau (Seth Wenig/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports) /

How the New York Knicks have turned it around: Coaching

Tom Motherlovin’ Thibodeau. The man is known for two things: playing his stars all the minutes possible, and stingy defense. Imagine if Stan Van Gundy’s “form an (expletive) wall” sound bit was personified. That’s Thibs, and probably an undersell if we’re keeping it real. The man spearheaded the best Chicago Bulls team since the GOAT was in town and the first Timberwolves team to make the playoffs in 13 years a few seasons back.

Yes, Thibs has typically had strong first impressions with new teams that eventually led to him wearing out his welcome. But I would attribute the issues in Minny more so with the loss of Jimmy Butler and less with Thibs.

Enough about that, though. He has his young-ish Knicks roster doing two things: playing their asses off and committing on defense. And it has had results. New York currently has:

  • #11 +/- in the league
  • #4 Defensive Rating
  • #1 Opponent FG% (which is a good thing, I double checked)
  • #1 Opponent 3FG%

That’s just a taste. And yeah, I am going to omit their offensive stats…because they’re ugly. They are not winning games based on their offense. They have enough firepower on that side of the ball…for where they are now (stay tuned for the ‘future’ section). Until then, Thibs should receive genuine COY consideration for what he has done with this team.