The Knicks got a new and improved version of Tom Thibodeau, according to Derrick Rose

Alexander Wilson
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
Jan 13, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts as he coaches against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Without head coach Tom Thibodeau, the New York Knicks would be nowhere near as successful as they’ve been this season. Currently sitting seven games above .500, the Knicks have found themselves cemented in the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, which would’ve been seen as nearly impossible at the start of the campaign.

Thanks to the insane turnaround of All-Star Julius Randle and the development of players like Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, the Knicks are able to compete with most teams in the NBA seamlessly. Hosting the best defense in basketball and currently enjoying a nine-game win streak, New York has not only seen improvements with their players, but also their coaching staff.

Veteran point guard Derrick Rose insisted that Thibodeau has adjusted his game and coaching style over the years, going from a more hard-nosed leader to a coach who understands his players’ needs and staying positive on the court.

“It shows that he’s improved as a coach. He’s already a great coach, but every year he’s improving and adjusting,” Rose said on Friday. “That’s the big difference that I see with him this year. He’s giving guys more freedom to go out there and play the way they want. He’s being positive on the court.”

Trying to force a specific style of play on athletes can sometimes lead to backlash and resentment, but he’s letting players enjoy their strengths and dominate with their skill sets.
In addition, Thibodeau’s natural style is that he craves victory, even more so than the players at times, which is something that Rose touched on as well.

“I take my hat off to that because there’s a lot of coaches — not to bring up names — but there’s a lot of coaches who don’t have that mentality,” Rose said.

The Knicks have a new Tom Thibodeau and he’s loving life in New York:

Thibs simply loves his current roster, and even though the Knicks aren’t composed of the LeBron James’s of the NBA world, he’s helped guys like Randle achieve their potential and rejuvenated Derrick Rose to look like his vintage self. He’s also been fantastic with the younger players, getting them appropriate minutes and easing them into the hardships of the NBA. It is truly a special combination of players and coaches that has resulted in one of the most unexpected turnarounds in franchise history.

“I love our group. We have such a great group of guys that are all serious, hard-working, dedicated. You couldn’t ask for anything more as a coach.”