During their last two games, both victories, the Knicks have played some of their most resilient basketball of this still-emerging season. In defeating two possible playoff teams, the Knicks have generally looked cohesive and fluid and, for the most part, defensively stout. Coincidentally, they have done it without Joakim Noah, their marquee off-season signing.
Noah’s absence and the Knicks’ good play of late are not necessarily related, but their play in his absence was another example of the rocky beginning Noah has had in his return to New York. The Knicks signed him to a four-year, $72 million deal this summer — one of the priciest doled out to a free agent, even in a landscape that often looked like a gold rush.
It was a questionable deal from the outset, but Noah, a 31-year-old self-professed New Yorker, was supposed to at least be a conspicuous cog in the Knicks’ attempt to return to the postseason.
Instead, his playing time at…