New York Knicks 90's-inspired defense?

The current era of the NBA game, along with the last ten or more years, give or take a few, has given rise to what many fans, analysts, and casual observers have referred to as "soft." Fouls are often called with the softest touch, and often, referees don't always "let them play." Any hard foul is almost always an automatic Flagrant 1, and there isn't a lot of wiggle room when it comes to physicality and aggressiveness on the floor -- a breed of aggressiveness that hasn't been seen since the 90's.

The former NBA player and current Coach of the New York Knicks (Jeff Hornacek) wants to bring that 90's-era defensive intensity to his current 2016-2017 roster, and, who can blame him?

The New York Knicks in the 90's consisted of hall of fame players and overall greats like Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, John Starks, and Charles Oakley. It was players like these that made opposing players second-guess driving the ball to the hole, as bodily harm was unavoidable.

While the current era of players and the current temperature of the league does not allow for nearly as much contact, the current roster of the New York Knicks certainly consists of a handful of players that can most certainly get the job done in that regard. Hornacek played under hall of fame Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan, and Sloan brought his own brand of personal toughness that he then imprinted on every batch of players he coached, and it was that influence that ultimately always made its presence known on the floor.

New York Knicks defense

With the New York Knicks currently sitting at .500 with one win and one loss to their credit so far this season, it's still early enough in the year for Hornacek to implement a system, and early enough in the season for his players to buy into it if they intend to make a splash -- and potentially a deep run -- this year.

When you think of good defensive teams in recent years, the 07-08 Boston Celtics, and the San Antonio Spurs in any given year come to mind. Good defense wins championships, but it's also not pretty to watch most of the time. The New York Knicks certainly have the personnel this year to make some big moves in the East, and they have the pieces to be able to contend with the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.

Bringing some defensive intensity and grit from the 90's into their current strategy may very well be the thing that sets them apart this season, and the thing that allows them to compete with the best on both ends of the floor.

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