With their roster mostly consisting of young players, nobody expected the New York Knicks to make a huge impact in the 2018-19 NBA season. As of now, the Knicks are focused on the development of the young guys that they believe could be part of their long-term future. However, though the Knicks will have a huge incentive for being the worst NBA team in the league, Coach David Fizdale doesn’t seem to be thrilled with their current performance, especially with their inconsistencies on the defensive end of the floor.
According to ESPN, the Knicks currently rank 28th in NBA’s defensive efficiency, allowing 111.6 points per 100 possessions. In a recent interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Coach David Fizdale said that the Knicks’ defensive struggle is not about the effort his players exert, but their “confidence.” With their goal to contend for the NBA championship in the 2019-20 NBA season, Fizdale and the Knicks no longer have the luxury to wait for their young players’ full development.
Coach David Fizdale revealed that one of the Knicks’ top priorities in the 2019 NBA offseason is to find players who can take their defense to the “next level.”
“Our defense won’t really, really get to where it’s at until we start really filling in the gaps with the type of guys we think can take our defense to the next level.” Fizdale said. “Add maybe another forward defender or another perimeter defender that has a reputation for that. Those kind of guys are the ones that elevate your system to the next level.”
David Fizdale says a defensive scheme is being designed with summer additions in mind https://t.co/ujNylP2EMQ— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) March 28, 2019
The Knicks aren’t just expected to add defenders, but All-Star caliber defenders in which, according to Berman, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors would be perfect target. After trading the lucrative contract of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline, the Knicks opened up enough salary cap space to give Durant and another incoming free agent superstar max contracts next July.
Other than Kevin Durant, the 2019 NBA free agency class will also feature other All-Star-caliber defenders like Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Klay Thompson of the Warriors. Adding at least two of those superstars will not only boost the Knicks’ defense, but also their performance on the offensive end of the floor. Aside from free agency, the Knicks also have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal next summer.