The New York Knicks blew a 28 point lead on Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets, a game they should’ve handily won at MSG.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau has failed to piece together competent player combinations that can help the Knicks get over the hump. In fact, his decision to keep RJ Barrett in a blowout with just seconds left on the clock resulted in an ankle injury that put his team further in disarray.
Piled on top of that, Thibodeau used a second illegal challenge against the Oklahoma City Thunder, costing him a timeout with seconds left on the clock. Consistent mistakes from your head coach are a sign of systemic issues, which likely has people questioning his capabilities running the team at a productive level.
Ian Begley of SNY reported that confidence is diminishing in Tom Thibodeau among executives at MSG:
What we know: Even before the brutal loss to the Nets, confidence in Thibodeau had diminished among some people of influence at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks have been inconsistent in all aspects of the game – except blowing double-digit leads.
It is understandable to think that confidence is beginning to dwindle regarding Thibodeau, especially after consistent mistakes and poor maximizing of player talents. Julius Randle seems like a shell of himself this season, and his young players from last year aren’t taking the necessary steps forward to help the team win games.
Second-year shooting guard Immanuel Quickley has seen his statistics degrade compared to his rookie season, and Obi Toppin hasn’t fully been able to extrapolate on his capabilities, averaging just 15 minutes per game and 7.3 points.
With the season seemingly lost as we head into the All-Star break, the Knicks need to begin trusting their youth more proficiently. With point guard remaining a significant issue, keeping Miles McBride in Westchester seems like malpractice.
Most expected the Knicks to take a step forward after an impressive 2020 campaign led by elite defense. However, it seemed as if they got a bit too overzealous with their free agency plan, acquiring Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker, both of whom have failed miserably to contribute at a high level.
Thibodeau is undoubtedly a key component in the team’s struggles, but the front office shouldn’t get a pass either for their poor decisions.