Being the league’s last remaining undefeated team, one would expect the New York Knicks (5-0) to receive more praise than they dish out.
Against a team like the San Antonio Spurs, whose seven wins lead the NBA, they have been doing the exact opposite.
Routinely on the wrong side of a Spurs’ victory, Knicks starting point guard Jason Kidd believes San Antonio is the perfect blueprint for a successful team.
“They’re the blueprint,” Kidd said. “They’ve been successful so long. They’ve won a couple of championships. They play the right way. They share the ball. They don’t care who scores or who makes the winning basket. It’s all about winning. That’s what they bring in, guys who want to win. And if you don’t want to win, they ship you out. It’s fun to watch, it’s hard to guard, and you just hope they have an off night when you play them.”
The NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Knicks center Tyson Chandler, similarily lavished praise — focusing specifically on his counterpart Tim Duncan.
Duncan is 14th in the league in rebounds per game (9.6). The 16-year veteran is shooting 52.2 percent from the field, his highest field goal parcentage since the 2006-07 season, which is part of the reason for his career-best player efficiency rating (27.9).
“He’s so gifted, man. For so many years. He should go down as the greatest power forward of all times. He’s unbelievable. His skill set, his patience, his demeanor about the game, makes everyone around him better. He’s been unbelievable for years now.”
As it turns out, even the top defensive team and second-ranked offense has more than enough reason to compliment the Spurs.