Teams coached by Tom Thibodeau have almost always been known for their defense, but the 2022-23 New York Knicks are making their mark on offense.

They have been so good on that end that the question has to be asked: Are the Knicks actual Eastern Conference contenders?

In Thibodeau's 11 years as an NBA head coach, he has had only three teams in the top five of the league in offensive rating, including this season. This year's Knicks are fifth in points per 100 possessions, according to Cleaning the Glass. For context, they were 21st in that metric last season.

So, what has changed?


Jalen Brunson

The first big change has been the arrival of point guard Jalen Brunson. He has done a great job getting the offense organized and the Knicks into sets.

Having a floor general like Brunson has helped raise the floor for the Knicks' offense. The team's offensive rating is 118.7 with him on the court, but it drops down to 108.3 when he is off the floor.

Brunson has come through in clutch situations, too. He's averaging 4.1 points on 50.6 percent shooting in the final few minutes of games separated by five or fewer points. He is the Knicks' go-to scorer, as he recently proved against Miami.

However, Brunson has missed four of the Knicks' last five games because of a left foot injury. If that continues to linger, it will lower New York's ceiling.