The OG Anunoby trade has been nothing short of a godsend for the New York Knicks. New York is 20-3 with the former Toronto Raptors forward in the lineup, and he's had a positive plus-minus in each contest.

Anunoby expressed his love for New York after the team clinched the Eastern Conference's second seed following Saturday's 120-119 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.

“Oh it’s a great team, great organization,” Anunoby said. “Front office is great. Fans are great. Great city. MSG is great. It’s been great so far.”

The veteran forward finished the regular season averaging 14.3 points a game on 49.2% shooting, with 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists since being traded to New York. His elite defense, though, has been the most important factor in taking the Knicks to the next level. The former All-NBA Defensive Second Team honoree registered recorded 1.7 steals a game and a 107.2 defensive rating, helping New York finish with a top-10 defense.

Will the 26-year-old help lead the Knicks go on a deep playoff run?

Knicks can make Eastern Finals with OG Anunoby

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) warms up prior to the game against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden.
© Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Things didn't look good for the Knicks after Julius Randle announced he would miss the rest of the season due to injury. Randle was the Robin to Jalen Brunson's Batman, averaging 24.0 points a game on 47.2% shooting with 9.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Without him, Jalen Brunson has had to carry the offense consistently.

However, OG Anunoby's presence has helped mitigate the loss of Randle. While he's more of a secondary contributor on offense, his defensive ability has helped keep the Knicks in just about every game. The 2023 NBA steals leader not only clamps down on the perimeter, but he also rotates inside and switch onto any position. Combine that with center Mitchell Robinson being one of the best rim protectors in the league, and New York is a headache to try and score on.

In the playoffs, defense gets ramped up even further. It's easy for teams to lose intensity on that side of the floor over an 82-game regular season, but not so much when stakes get higher. With every game being essential, Anunoby and Robinson may step up their defensive efforts even more.

The main concern for Anunoby, of course, is health. The British international missed the entire month of February and the majority of March due to elbow issues. He's gotten back up to speed in April, though, shooting 47.5% from the field and 47.8% from deep. As long as he keeps that up without aggravating any injuries, the Knicks should be in good shape.

New York will hope that its dramatic win against the Bulls will be a preview for what's to come. Anunoby helped bother DeMar DeRozan's shot at the end of the game, forcing a miss in a crucial moment. Head coach Tom Thibodeau sang Anunoby's praises in the postgame presser, via SNY.

New York now awaits the results of the last few regular season games before it finds out its Eastern Conference Quarterfinals opponent. Game 1 will be held at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

If Anunoby thinks Knicks fans are great now, he'll be floored when he finds out how they'll treat him if he helps lead them to their first Conference Finals in 24 years.