The New York Knicks hiring Tom Thibodeau as their next head coach might be better than some might think. Thibodeau is an accomplished leader in the NBA, having lead the Chicago Bulls to five straight playoff appearances and the Minnesota Timberwolves to one appearance in two years. Thibodeau was fired in his third season with Minnesota, finishing under .500.
The reality is, the Knicks have lacked a true disciplinary coach in recent years, and they have been nothing short of a dumpster fire for quite some time. If not for Carmelo Anthony carrying the team, the Knicks might as well be a G-League squad.
The New York Knicks have changed course:
While Thibodeau was tapped by new general manager Leon Rose to lead the squad into the future, they were plenty of good options on the market. Former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson lead the pack, and Jason Kidd was even considered to a degree. Owner James Dolan seems to always have his hand dipped it in the pie, giving the green light on Thibodeau, who has ample experience in the position.
He brings plenty of positive qualities to the team, but one stands out significantly.
Thibodeau is a defensive guru, and with that comes extreme intense and disciplinary tactics. He piles on the minutes for his best players and forces them to compete at a high-level. This can often create wear and tear on players quickly throughout the course of the season. Luckily, the Knicks will be relying on youth to carry the load. Players like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson should be able to handle plenty of minutes at such a young age.
Despite the effects of playing frequent minutes, Thibodeau enjoyed four top-10 defenses in his five years with Chicago, showing he knows the recipe to an elite unit.
Over his career, Thibodeau is 352–246, with a 58.9 career winning percentage. It’s easy to like him, considering his reliance on defense and bringing the best out of his most talented players. Recognizing his track record, he has the pedigree to return the Knicks to some sort of respectful state. On the bright side, nobody’s expecting much from Thibodeau, but if he can turn things around here in New York, he would be a hero.