Last season the Knicks
improved on defense with the addition of Tyson Chandler
. The Knicks ranked 11th in the league with holding their opponents to 94.7 points a game in the 2011-12 season. This year the Knicks have collected a group of veterans to help them secure the paint and the backcourt.
The new defensive additions are former Knick Kurt Thomas, shot blocker and NBA Defensive Player of Year Marcus Camby, along with Rasheed Wallace in the frontcourt.
Each one of the new forwards are players that know how to play defense and are experts at reading defensive schemes. Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are also players that can guard their man one-on-one without needing a double team or switching to another man constantly on the defensive end of the court. Adding these three players along with the defensive presence of Tyson Chandler will cause havoc for any player trying to drive to the paint. Which is different from what spectators have seen from the Knicks in the past. In previous seasons without Chandler the Knicks were letting their opponents score 105.7 points (ranked 28th in the league). Last season that was not the case.
The Knicks have also improved in the backcourt on the defensive end by adding Raymond Felton (who is a decent defender) and Jason Kidd. The Knicks also have Ronnie Brewer who is known to be one of the top defenders at the guard/forward position in the league. Now if you consider these three along with Shumpert (second team all-defense) and J.R. Smith you have a backcourt that will control the passing lanes and the perimeter as well as apply ball pressure on the ball.
These group of players in the backcourt and frontcourt are players that know how to get back on defense, block shots, trap, draw charges and do not give up plays.
In other words, Coach Mike Woodson’s dream has come true. Mike Woodson has been screaming defense since last season and it looks like that is exactly what the Knicks have. There may be some things the Knicks are lacking but defense is not one of them.
In the past the Knicks have looked like a team searching for an identity. This year defense might be the face the Knicks have been looking for.