New York Knicks: Looking back at New Year’s resolutions for 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Tim Hardaway Jr. #3 of the New York Knicks plays defense against Cody Zeller #40 of the CHarlotte Hornets on December 14, 2018 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Tim Hardaway Jr. #3 of the New York Knicks plays defense against Cody Zeller #40 of the CHarlotte Hornets on December 14, 2018 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next
new york knicks
New York Knicks Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Prioritize defense

The New York Knicks, year to year, have defensive issues. Offensive-minded players usually assume top spots on their roster, which hurts play at the opposite end of the court, which previous NBA champions have thrived off (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors).

Entering 2018, the Knicks were trending up. They sat 14th in defensive rating, unlike 25th in 2016-17. Something worked properly, which contributed to the 18-18 record.

However, when 2017-18 closed, New York was 23rd in defensive rating. Attribute that to Porzingis’ absence, Enes Kanter at center or Mudiay at point guard, but it still represented a startling downfall that contributed to their second-half woes.

Under a new head coach, and in a new season, the Knicks have continued to take a nosedive in defensive rating. They sit 29th, but as Mudiay, Hardaway, Knox and Kanter receive the bulk of the starter’s minutes, that’s almost expected. Reserves, Burke and Mario Hezonja, do not own defensive acumen, either.

The Knicks also allow the second-most points per game in the NBA, at 115.6, and let teams shoot 36.5 percent from behind the arc.

Next. 25 greatest players in NYK history. dark

As long as this roster sticks, the Knicks will continue to have defensive problems in 2019. That can change with roster moves next summer, but over half the season remains in 2018-19, so it’s a long ride before the front office can find defensive-minded players.