The New York Knicks have found their groove in the last week, going 4-1 en route to a five-spot climb to No. 8 on the NBA’s latest power rankings.
Knicks’ Offense Catching Up to Their Elite Defense
John Shuhmann of NBA.com released the updated power rankings yesterday, Nov. 20, and accentuated this about the Knicks’ hot streak of late:
“The Knicks’ defense has remained in the top five, while their offense has climbed from 29th to 10th in the last two weeks. The Celtics, Nuggets, and Thunder are the only other teams that currently rank in the top 10 on both ends of the floor.”
The Knicks got their first and fourth victories over the Charlotte Hornets by an average margin of victory of 18 points. After a 114-98 loss to the Boston Celtics in their second game of the week, they were also able to down the Atlanta Hawks by two points and dominate the Washington Wizards in a 120-99 rout.
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Knicks Stars Have Done Heavy Lifting in Knicks’ Successful Week
The Knicks’ defense has always been stout and they’ve carried that over from last season to now. However, the offense has looked rejuvenated after a slow start. Mitchell Robinson has created the most second-chance opportunities for the team in the NBA. Julius Randle is no longer tentative when shooting or driving to the rack and the offense is finding easier ways to create offensive looks.
Jalen Brunson was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and led the charge for New York with these impressive stats as RJ Barrett missed three contests due to migraines:
Knicks Make Progress, But More Progress Is Needed
The Knicks unseated the Houston Rockets who previously held the No. 8 spot and also leapfrogged a host of teams including the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat who cooled off from their strong starts.
The Knicks (8-5) were right in the mix with the defending champion Denver Nuggets (9-4), Oklahoma City Thunder (10-4), Milwaukee Bucks (9-4), and Sacramento Kings (8-4) who occupy spots No. 4-7, before falling 117-100 to the Minnesota Timberwolves last night. The Nuggets and Bucks secured victories while the Kings suffered a loss on the same day.
Now at 8-6, the Knicks have three more days off before taking on the Miami Heat in their third of four In-Season Tournament games this Friday. After that, they wrap up the current week against the star-studded Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Should they win out, they have a good chance of creeping into the top five in the league’s next installment.