Watching the first few games of this Knick season you can readily see they exhibit heart and desire and those 2 words are a precise definition of Head Coach Tom Thibodeau.
He stresses with his players 2 things about defense: It is all about desire and you play great defense when you use your foot speed far more than your hands. This allows you to stay out of foul trouble while making your opponents half court offense a tough road to travel giving your team counter attack offensive chances frequently throughout the game.
From an offensive standpoint, they make the extra pass which opens up so many scoring possibilities. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have been early recipients of the new game plan but give that duo credit as well as both players have been so unselfish in sharing the ball and in the open court it has produced great results.
You can also see the play of guys like Kevin Knox and Elfrid Payton take a step upwards while rookies like Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin have shown flashes as well.
And Mitchell Robinson continues to improve on the defensive end making opponents think twice about attacking the paint vs the Knicks. But it all starts with Head Coach Tom Thibodeau as teams in this sport often mirror the way their head coach goes about their business. Even coming out of timeouts this team has made in-game adjustments that leave me very impressed and they do it with the passion and energy that had been missing from the Knicks the past few seasons.
We are so early in the season and this team needs to continue to grow but this squad has the looks of a team that brings passion to the floor every possession and is accountable both to their coach and each other. Does this roster need improvement? Absolutely but there is a culture being built here that cries out the word “Winner” .
In a long season, there will be ups and downs and it will be interesting to see how this group responds to down times although they have already impressed me with how they react to those moments inside the game.
The future is bright for this team as you can see the sunlight ahead because they have carved out a corridor for us to see how good the future will be for the Knicks at MSG.