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Knicks are off to an excellent defensive start in MSG this season

Not a fun team to play against

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When opposing teams have stepped into Madison Square Garden this season, they have been met with a raucous atmosphere and a tough New York Knicks defense.

After the comeback win over the Miami Heat on Friday night, New York improved to 4-2 at home.

This has been built by their defense.

Here’s where they currently rank in a number of categories on defense at home:

(Rankings are subject to change)

Defensive Rating: 4th

Points allowed: 4th

Field goals made: T-4

Three-pointers made: 6th

Three-point percentage: 4th

Free-throw attempts: 2nd

Opponent rebounds: T-4

Opponent assists: 3rd

The Knicks have been great on defense all season, specifically at home. They’ve allowed 107.7 points on the road, compared to 101.7 at home. New York has played three more games on the road, but it’s still enough of a sample to point out the strong play.

They are a top-12 defense in points in the paint, fastbreak points, points off turnovers, and second-chance points. Tom Thibodeau’s team ranks first in fewest opponent second-chance points. These Knicks love to get after the ball, ranking in the top six for home rebounds per game.

Opponents have had a very difficult time scoring from 15–19 feet and 25–29 feet. In the six games at the Garden, teams are shooting only 23.3 percent from 15–19 feet and 28.4 percent from 25–29 feet. Keep this in mind, as the Knicks are also one of the better teams at limiting points in the paint. If they can have those three areas of the court covered, they will be very tough to play against, especially in a half-court setting.

The offense hasn’t been great this season, but if the defense remains this strong, things should be fine. Consider any additional offense a bonus, and there will be games where it all comes together.

When opposing teams come into the Garden, they should be prepared for a physical defensive game. Make your opportunities count.

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