The Knicks’ defense has been the key to success in March

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) controls the ball under pressure from New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) and guard Miles McBride (2) as center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) defends in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena
Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are rolling at the right time. Heading into the final stretch of the season, the Knicks are 9-3 in the month of March despite injuries to key players such as OG Anunoby and Julius Randle. The Knicks’ defense has been especially impressive and has been the catalyst for the team’s recent play.

Knicks defense significantly improved from February

In March, the Knicks boast the league’s best defensive rating with a rating of just 103.3. This is a massive improvement from February’s disastrous defensive effort, which saw New York post the league’s 27th-best defensive rating, to the tune of a paltry 4-8 record. The Knicks have also protected the paint at an exceptional level this month, allowing just 41.0 points in the paint per game, the least in the NBA.

Knicks have played shorthanded majority of the month

It should be noted that the Knicks did see OG Anunoby return for three games this month before re-aggravating his elbow injury, as well as the return of Mitchell Robinson on Wednesday. However, for the majority of the month, the Knicks have been playing shorthanded, making it even more impressive what they’ve been able to accomplish.

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Knicks have impressive defensive accomplishments this season

During a five-game stretch from March 8th to March 16th, the Knicks gave up just 74 points, 79 points twice, 93 points, and 91 points respectively. On the season, they’ve given up less than 100 points in a game 23 times, and are 19-4 in those games. Additionally, the Knicks have the league’s third-best point differential this month, posting an impressive +132 point differential.

New York will look to continue their impressive month tonight with a matchup against the lowly San Antonio Spurs. The Knicks are heavily favored in this matchup (-9.5) so they’ll be looking to take care of business tonight and improve to 10 wins in the month of March.

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