The New York Knicks won their fourth straight game last night since Mike D’Antoni’s abrupt mid-season departure. The difference in the Knicks since Mike Woodson took over? Defense.
The Knicks are only allowing 88 points per game under Woodson, while under D’Antoni they were giving up over 96 points a night. The Knicks aren’t only getting it done on defense; their new-found commitment has provided dividends on the offensive end — New York has outscored its opponents by 90 points under Woodson. It’s the largest positive point differential for any team in NBA history over its first four games following a coaching change.
The rejuvenation of the Knicks under Woodson was apparent last night. The players looked excited as the improved defense led to fast-break opportunities and easy baskets. It really is that simple — defense wins games.