Tom Thibodeau, Mike Woodson, Kenny Payne, Johnny Bryant, along with the rest of the developmental staff are in the midst of a culture change with the young New York Knicks roster. The Knicks are currently number one in the entire NBA in least opposing points scored against and opposing three-point field goal percentage. The scary part about this early accomplishment is the fact that thereâ€™s still upside for the Knicks defensively.
Potential return of @FrankLikina while @nyknicks are 1st in opposing field goals made, 1st in opposing 3-point%, and 1st in points scored against is something to watch…Takes pressure off Payton & Bullock once Ntilikina gains his rhythm again. IMOðŸ˜ðŸ˜ðŸ˜ #knicks #newyorkforever— Mikey Murphy âœðŸ¿ (@Mikey441) January 24, 2021
The men sporting the orange and blue are succeeding in Coach Tom Thibodeauâ€™s defensive schemes. Thibs has been laying out floor plans for victories, and the Knicks have been executing to the best of their abilities. The young Knicks roster have bought in on the coach, and theyâ€™re still getting acclimated to each other. This is a young season full of promise, especially while watching inexperienced and talented players work and gain confidence in their crafts under a veteran, savvy coaching staff.
Frank Ntilikina upgraded to questionable for tomorrowâ€™s game in Portlandia.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) January 24, 2021
The return of Frank Ntilikina for the Knicks will be interesting because the French born combo guard is arguably the Knicks’ best perimeter defender. Ntilikinaâ€™s frame includes being 6â€™6â€ tall while possessing a 7â€™1â€ wingspan. Heâ€™s a menace defensively already at the age of 22 years old. Ntilikina can help take pressure off Reggie Bullock and Elfrid Payton in the backcourt.
Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley are two rookies whoâ€™ve shown flashes on both ends of the basketball court. Toppin has shown the ability to use his athleticism defensively. The Dayton â€œHighâ€ Flyer is understanding defensive positioning in the NBA. Quickley is using his length at the point guard position to his advantage. The former Kentucky Wildcat possesses solid defensive IQ. Heâ€™s also aggressive but still learning on the defensive end of the court.
Overall, the Knicks are in position to become better defensively under Tom Thibodeau. Healthy young roster depth allows the New York Knicks to play an ultra-aggressive defensive style. Knick fans might have to get used to the Knicks being a top-three defense in the NBA. Itâ€™s definitely a welcoming sight.