The New York Knicks don’t lack in front-court depth, and one of their centers has impressed head coach Tom Thibodeau in training camp, which could lead to more playing time despite a crowded rotation.
Coach Thibodeau Encouraged By Sims’ Play at Knicks Training Camp
Newsday Sports columnist Chris Popper shared Thibodeau’s comments on Jericho Sims’ productivity in training camp as he bounces back from surgery on a torn labrum and cuff tendon in his right shoulder that prematurely ended his 2023 postseason:
Sims, 24, showed athleticism and imposition down low for the Knicks a season ago. Across 16 starts, Sims averaged 4.2 points and 6.3 rebounds on 79.5 percent shooting from the field.
Much like Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein, Sims didn’t have many plays run for him on offense, but as a big body, showed that he can clean the glass and protect the rim, sending back 1.2 blocked shots per 36 minutes.
Sims’s best play came in each of the Knicks’ two-game season series against the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, and Oklahoma City Thunder. He flirted with double-doubles and helped New York go 4-2, including a 38-point thrashing of the then-defending champion Warriors in their biggest win of the year.
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Will Sims Remain Knicks’ Choice as Starter When Robinson Misses Action?
Though Robinson was sidelined for 23 games, Hartenstein suited up in all 82 games and was an iron man for coach Thibodeau. Encouragingly, Sims was named the starter over Hartenstein during the 14-game stretch Robinson missed from Jan. 20 to Feb. 15 due to surgery on an injured right thumb sustained in their 11-point loss to the Washington Wizards on Jan. 18.
Clearly, the Knicks’ coaching staff likes the energy that Hartenstein brings off the bench, which means that Sims carries a high probability of being first in line to start for Robinson should his injury woes continue into the upcoming campaign.