Defense, defense and more defense is what New York Knicks assistant coach Jud Buechler was preaching during the 2019 NBA Summer League. The entire regime from top to bottom is on the same page when it comes to New York Knicks being identified as a tough hard nosed and aggressive defensive team in the open Eastern Conference.
David Fizdale wants the New York Knicks to run often and hard. He wants the fast paced offense to be predicated on forced turnovers defensively. The Knicks certainly have the personnel to push the envelope defensively and stop the most important play in the game right now which is the “Pick-and-Roll”. The defensive terror in the middle for the Knicks by the name of Mitchell Robinson covers a ridiculous amount of ground when hedging and rerouting towards the basket for a devastating and MSG crowd pleasing block at the rim. Even on a “pick and pop” Mitchell Robinson is able to contest and block the shooters jump shot. Isolations against Mitchell Robinson on the perimeter is pretty much a death wish if one is intending to shoot a jump shot over the 7’1″ and 7’4″ wingspan future Defensive Player of the Year. Mitchell Robinson’s block party however might lessen due to the fact Robinson will have to display more discipline while defending the paint and avoiding foul trouble. This means he might have to lessen the amount of block attempts and stay grounded lessening the risk of fouls.
Other Knick players like Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Wayne Ellington, Elfrid Payton, Damyean Dotson, Marcus Morris, Frank Ntilikina, Taj Gibson, and even the second rounder Ignas Brazdeikis will take advantage of their depth and play ultra aggressive defense under Fizdale’s orders. Whoever doesn’t play defense won’t see the court. If executed correctly, the stifling defense will wear down opponents during games. This will cause the Knicks to have a decent home record this season due to opponents dreading the trip to MSG.