I know it is only four games, but so far Mike Woodson has his guys buying into his defensive approach. He was brought in last season to help Mike D'Antoni on the defensive side, and he is showing why that was a great move.
Last season the team improved defensively, and was ranked 11th overall allowing 94.7 points per game. However, the team was still running D'Antoni's offensive approach for much of the season, and that made it a little more difficult for Woodson to implement his system.
This season he had a full training camp to instill his defensive approach, along with his offensive scheme. It is very clear that what he teaches works and that is not just going off of what we have seen this season.
Last year, Woodson coached the Knicks for the final 24 games, and over that stretch the team went 18-6. His 4-0 mark this year gives him an overall record of 22-6 as the Knicks coach.
So far this season, the Knicks are ranked first in the NBA allowing just 87.5 points per game and are holding opponents to a league best 40.7% shooting from the field. No opponent has scored more than 40 second-half points against the Knicks and they have committed the fewest turnovers in the league.
Mike Woodson has the Knicks playing inspired defense reminiscent of the teams from the 1990's—the ones that were led by Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy and had rugged defenders like John Starks, Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley.
The current Knicks have some really good defenders in their own right. Tyson Chandler’s presence has transformed this team and the additions of Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton have given them shut-down perimeter defenders. Kurt Thomas is as rugged as they come and Marcus Camby is one of the best shot blockers in the league. I said all that and didn't even mention Iman Shumpert, who should return mid-season and improve the team even more on the defensive end.
If Carmelo buys in on the defensive side with the rest of his teammates for an entire season, they won't need him to score 30 every night to win.
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