The New York Knicks have been exceptional this season and it comes as a surprise as the Knicks have been a lottery side for a long time now. The Knicks have ended the regular season as the 4th seed in th Eastern Conference with a record of 41-31.
Led by Julius Randle the Knicks have clinched the playoffs and will face the fifth seed the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. Randle has been playing at an MVP level this season and supporting him is former NBA MVP Derrick Rose who has been sensational coming off the bench and scoring important points on a regular basis.
Former Knicks star John Starks who recently spoke in an interview praised the team a lot for their massive leap this season. He went on to laud head coach Tom Thibodeau for bringing in the winning mentality in this team. The environment in and around the team has been superb and hence youngsters like Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin are also growing into top players.
“I love the way they’re playing, I love their mentality. I said when Thibodeau got here – the one thing you’re going to see in the Knicks is they will have an identity, which they haven’t had for some years. That they’re gonna come out there and play defense, and they’re gonna get after you. And it’s the same crew that they had last year, with the exception of a couple of rookies that came in — IQ [Immanuel Quickley] [and] [Obi] Toppin — but the same crew. They come in there and they battle.”
Starks went on saying that the Knicks are very aggressive on defence as they like to keep that advantage on the court. There is no question that the Knicks have been great defensively as Starks adds how the NBA has moved ahead from only being defensive but he was gladly surprised to see the Knicks maintaining the tradition.
“They get after you on the defensive end of the court… They’re one of the top defensive teams in the league – and their record has shown that. They got guys who are tough-minded and are going to go out there and give it their all every single night. And that’s what it takes in order to win in this league. Defense has been frowned upon for many years in this league, with the focus and attention being on the offensive end of the court,” Starks concluded.
For now the Knicks will be looking to keep their momentum and dive deep into the postseason.