My latest endeavor at the New York Times delves into whether or not the Knicks are just on a lucky skid or have actually improved. (Hint: it’s not a lucky skid.)
Just as important is how handily the Knicks have won those games. During Linsanity, New York won three games by 10 points or more, and none by more than 15. Under “Woodsanity,” the team has had seven double-digit victories and four of them were by more than 15 points. During this romp, New York has averaged an impressive margin of victory of 18.3 points, 10 points more than their previous streak.
Numerous studies show that teams are better defined by dominating inferior opponents than by winning close games, which means point differential is a better indication of a team’s strength than actual wins. In layman’s terms, during close games any team can end up victorious with a lucky shot or a fortunate whistle.
But it’s unlikely that a team could wander into a blowout by chance. The Knicks’ expected win percentage, a formula that estimates how many games a team would win based on its points for and against, with Woodson at the helm is 89.6 percent. (If New York played at that level for the entire season, its record would be 46-5 instead of 26-25.)