Knicks defense is improving

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

The Knicks have risen to 18th in what the coaching staff views as the most important defensive stat — points per 100 possessions. (The Knicks were 28th during their 3-8 start). The Knicks are second in the NBA in blocked shots, with Stoudemire setting a ton of toughness.

“We’re playing better team defense, we’re playing better help defense,” said Felton. “Amare getting six blocks [on Christmas] was big, just helping weak side and cleaning up. It makes me and Toney [Douglas’] job much easier pressuring the ball because we know we have guys who are going to clean things up when we make mistakes.”

The Knicks have the makings of a competent defensive club. Felton, Douglas and Turiaf breathe and sleep defense. Wilson Chandler is an active defender. Rookie Landry Fields rarely makes a mistake. Danilo Gallinari, despite some inconsistent offensive nights, has been tenacious on the other end, among the league leaders in charges drawn.

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