Knicks defense winning rock fights, playing like it's the late 1990s again

The New York Knicks look to be a much different team now that OG Anunoby is back from his elbow surgery. Their defense has improved drastically, and it made some history last night.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks
Miami Heat v New York Knicks / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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The New York Knicks got a shot in the arm in Tuesday night with the return of forward OG Anunoby.

The Knicks star had been out since late January after undergoing elbow surgery, but his return helped the Knicks defeat the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The most notable difference in the Knicks performance was their defense. The defense was on point and ultimately held the Sixers to just 79 points.

It was the third consecutive game in which the Knicks had held their opponent under 80 points, which is something the Knicks haven't accomplished since the 2000-01 season.

And so, they made a little history with last night's defensive clinic.

Knicks make history with strong defense vs. Sixers

Obviously, it's been a minute since the Knicks accomplished this feat.

Back during the 2000-01 season, the Knicks were coached by Jeff Van Gundy and had a ton of stars on their roster, including Marcus Camby, Allan Houston, Larry Johnson, Luc Longley, Glen Rice, Mark Jackson, and Latrell Sprewell.

This year's team is giving shades of one of the best teams in Knicks history.

But it's clear that the return of Anunoby played a huge role in the Knicks' solid defensive performance last night against Philadelphia. The 26-year-old was a steals champion and a member of the All-Defensive Team during the 2022-23 season with the Toronto Raptors.

So far, the trade to bring him to New York appears to be working out quite well.

The final score of Tuesday's game was 106-79 in favor of the Knicks. The team became the first since 2012 to hold three consecutive opponents to fewer than 80 points.

We'll see if the Knicks can keep this up and extend their streak beyond three games. This could make them a serious threat to take home the Eastern Conference title.

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