MILWAUKEE — In the quiet moments before the Knicks’ season opener Wednesday night, the players attended to their business in the visitors’ locker room.
Derrick Williams and Lance Thomas studied game film on a tablet. Kristaps Porzingis put on headphones and listened to a track by the hip-hop artist Andy Mineo. Sasha Vujacic read from a dog-eared copy of “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. And Carmelo Anthony lay flat on his back on a training table, receiving a massage.
The locker room looked and sounded more like a yoga retreat, but once the Knicks vacated their private sanctuary to play the Milwaukee Bucks, everything changed.
The Knicks, with their refurbished roster, did not bear even a remote resemblance to the ramshackle outfit that stunk up arenas throughout the N.B.A. last…