Inside The Knicks Defense: How Tom Thibodeau’s team has dominated

NY Knicks (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
NY Knicks (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Reggie Bullock, Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The 2020-21 New York Knicks have remained consistent in one area of the game since the opening tip of the season: Defense. This Knicks’ season has been a rollercoaster consisting of remarkable wins, devastating losses, big performances, long slumps, and a variety of players playing different roles.

We’ve seen individual development from some of The Knicks’ younger players, and it’s become a fun balance of winning basketball and growth for the future. One thing has remained consistent all season long: Team defense.

The Knicks have been top-5 in the league in defensive rating all season long and they currently have the 4th highest rating in the NBA. This is a team that ranked 23rd in defensive rating just last season, with almost the same personnel – So how did they get here?

Knicks: The Tom Thibodeau Effect

The 1st year coaching staff has completely rejuvenated a Knicks team that has played underdog all year long. When you take on the job of head coach of The New York Knicks, you have to be prepared to tune out the noise from outside. That’s exactly what the team has done. They’ve focused on one thing only: Their game on the court.

So how did Tom Thibodeau and his staff get to The Knicks players right away? They arrived in a shortened offseason, in a time where you couldn’t escape the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the world during a global pandemic. Yet, the team has been dialed into a fundamentally different mindset. Let’s look at how Tom Thibodeau has molded this team.