If the New York Knicks continue to win -- and by all means, boys, keep on doing that! -- we're going to read more and more preposterous contrasts with last year's squad, like this:
The Knicks improved to 4-2 on the road with Friday's win at OKC. They won their 4th road game last year on Feb. 27.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 21, 2015
...indeed, that is much better! The Knicks are not only an improved team, they are the most improved team in the league, according to this chart from NBA.com's John Schuhmann:
Knicks rank as league's most improved team (NetRtg), followed by MIN, MIA, CHA & BOS: pic.twitter.com/wSu0KVPS3h— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) November 21, 2015
New York was pretty much equally crappy on offense and defense last season (29th in O-Rating, 28th in D-Rating, per Basketball-Reference), and have risen to pretty much equally average so far in 2015-16 (15th in O-Rating, 14th in D-Rating). They are scoring 3.1 more points and allowing 7.4 fewer points per 100 possessions, which is awesome all around!
But it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. The Knicks may have improved more than any other team, but most of their competition resides in the Eastern Conference -- Miami: 3rd, Charlotte: 4th, Boston: 5th, Orlando: 6th, Indiana: 9th. Four of those teams missed the playoffs in 2014-15, and Boston nabbed the 7th seed with a 40-42 record.
And so the Knicks are better (good!), but so is pretty much every team vying for an Eastern Conference playoff spot (bad!). New York blew chances to slide into the playoffs with a losing record in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. That probably won't be the case this season. If they make the postseason in 2016, they'll earn it.