Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau in favor of in-season tournament: ‘It pops’

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks
Feb 15, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the game against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The inaugural NBA In-Season tournament has added a new variable to the regular season, and not just for its interjection into the early portion of the schedule. For one, New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is a fan of the concept.

Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau Sides With Fans on Tournament Stance

Thibodeau said this about the new formula for the 2023-24 campaign, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post:

“Everyone seems to be excited about this Cup and I think the players love it,” Thibodeau said on Wednesday. “I know the fans love it. It’s been great. I think it pops.”

The tournament has divided all of the 30 teams in the league into six groups. The top two seeds in each group advance to the knockout stages in their respective conference. The tournament championship will feature the best team from the East and the West, with incentives going to the winners as well as runner-ups.

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Bold Court Designs Have Taken the Spotlight on Tournament Game Nights

So far, the tournament has been an adjustment but is primarily in place to foster competition early, prior to when the season usually picks up around Christmas. The format itself isn’t the only thing that has been new.

Each team’s courts are painted based on their primary color with their secondary color forming a wide strip that cuts through the middle from baseline to baseline. Each team’s logo is placed in the midst of a trophy base at half-court. The Knicks’ court features their iconic orange and blue palette, as the franchise shared on Twitter:

The courts are rather loud and eye-popping. A slew of players across the league including Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic and Boston Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown have complained about the floor being slippery and non-conducive for competitive play.

Nevertheless, the fulness of the tournament will continue on as originally implemented. The Knicks are 1-1 thus far and third place in group B behind the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat who are both 2-0. They’ll take on the Heat on Friday and have a chance to usurp them at a crucial juncture of the tournament.