OG Anunoby was perfect for the New York Knicks

Tom Thibodeau’s ideal team doesn’t just defend. He blocks the teams attack in a straitjacket and throws away the key.

Here’s why the OG Anunoby trade made perfect sense for the New York Knicks. Especially after Mitchell Robinson’s career year ended early due to ankle surgery (though the door isn’t closed on him returning for the playoffs), they needed a defensive terror on the wing who could protect anyone and make their life miserable.

They also needed someone the city could support. The tough, no-nonsense defender who could take on the best players in the game and block them. This team evoked so many memories of the ’90s Knicks that New York fell in love with, and Anunoby embodies that all-toughness, no-bullshit mentality.

Well, they got what they wanted. In the 10 games prior to Anunoby’s debut, the Knicks had gone 4-6 with a defensive rating of 122.1, 23rd in the NBA. Since the deal, they’re 9-2 with the league’s second-ranked defense, and Anunoby is a league-best +190 in those 11 games. The change was so dramatic and sudden that Anunoby’s teammates are still trying to figure out just how good he is in this regard.

“I don’t know, the guy is just a freak of nature,” Jalen Brunson told reporters after the trade. “I’m looking at the same thing you are looking at. Just like: “Oh, wow! Mmm. OK.'”