The New York Knicks are still in rebuilding mode but have plenty to be happy about. Outside of RJ Barrett and the increased optimism that he can flourish to become a star, head coach David Fizdale is most happy about his team’s interior defense.

Speaking before Saturday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Fizdale stated his belief in the Knicks’ paint defense, per Alex Smith and Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

“We’re taking care of the paint, and that was our number one emphasis,” Fizdale said prior to Saturday’s game against the Spurs. “Can we be a top five team defensively in shutting down the paint? I think right now we’re like five or six, teetering in that area now. The next thing is us getting a little more uncomfortable at getting to the three-point line. Touch fouls I think is another thing we can get better at and improve on, but I’m definitely happy about the way we’re shutting down the paint.”

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Great interior defense makes a lot of sense for Fizdale to incorporate as a modus operandi for the Knicks. Why? Because the paint increases the likelihood of a shot going in due to having close proximity to the basket. 23/19

“If you can eliminate easy baskets, cuts, rim runs, drives to the rim, things like that, I think you at least give yourself an opportunity to win the game.”

Makes sense. Now, the Knicks must catch up to the other aspects of the game in order for their record to even out.