What’s Behind Nerlens Noel’s Resurgence with the New York Knicks?

 is having a defensive season that scouts were picturing eight years and four  teams ago.

The  and coach Tom Thibodeau have unlocked game-changing rim protection, something that’s seemingly been masked or limited by unfortunate team fits and misevaluations from other organizations. 

It felt like the league had given up on Noel multiple times, once after his draft and again following his infamous rejection of a $70 million offer from the Dallas Mavericks.

Credit New York’s front office for identifying a quality buy-low opportunity (one year, $5 million) and the coaching staff for getting the most out of it. Despite Mitchell Robinson’s absence, the Knicks are third in the in defense, with Noel leading the league in defensive box plus-minus and ranking second in block percentage behind Myles Turner.

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