Tom Thibodeau the next head coach of the New York Knicks?

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

As we all wish that the New York Knicks were still playing, the rumor mill hasn’t stopped.  Leon Rose will be looking for his head coach for next season, assuming Mike Miller doesn’t return.

SNY’s Ian Begley reports, “several coaches and people” believe that Rose will hire Tom ‘Tibbs’ Thibodeau if Miller isn’t brought back.  This comes as no surprise since Tibbs has been linked to the Knicks job for some time now.

Apparently Rose and Tibbs have been close for two decades, according to Frank Isola.  This shouldn’t be look into as much. Rose has all his current and formers clients connected to the Knicks.  It’s all filler.

This seems to be long overdue. Whenever the Knicks had a head coaching vacancy, Tibbs’ name always came up.  Rumors swirled that  Tibbs always wanted to coach the Knicks.

He was an assistant for the Knicks from 1996-2004. He was under Jeff Van Gundy, primarily, Don Chaney, Herb Williams and Lenny Wilkens.  Van Gundy was drawn to Tibbs cause of his attention to detail and player development.

Tibbs may not be the best candidate to help develop these young Knicks players.  He’s never been the type to develop players. He has young, good talent in Minnesota and was fired after 3 seasons.  Thibs tried to adapt to the new style of play and he ran the young players into the ground, some games high 30 minutes.  Plus, the old school mentality hasn’t worked of recent.

Another thing to pay attention to, say the Knicks hire Tibbs, is his health.

Tibbs is 106 games over .500 in his NBA head coaching career.  The New York Knicks have won a total of 144 games over the last six seasons.

New York Knicks Kevin Knox does play soft but not all the time

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

Before the New York Knicks let David Fizdale go, was brutally honest about one young player.  Fizdale said that Kevin Knox sometimes plays “soft.”  While it most likely wasn’t said with bad intent, it could be interpreted that way.

Knox had an awful start to his second-year.  It didn’t help that the team added more power forwards to take away minutes from him.  Knox only averages 17.9 minutes per game so far this season.  But before the NBA season was suspended due to COVID-19, Knox’s game took a turn for the better.  He was able to show Knicks fans the talent is there, just need consistent minutes.

However, despite showing some glimmer of hope before the suspension, Knox does have a tendency to play soft.  There are numerous times during a game that he can be seen standing around the perimeter.  He goes in spurts with playing energized and making cuts for a big slam.  That’s the player the Knicks want.

His college coach John Calipari said that Knox was a ‘project’.  While Knicks fans knew that before the draft, the upside is what gives fans hope.  But the negatives throughout his career certainly out way the positives.

All areas of Knox’s game has decreased this season.  He seems very slow on his feet defensively and has trouble switching defenders.  He chases the defender more often than not which makes him a liability.  But he’s a player that needs confidence instilled within him to perform.  That’s what the Knicks need to do.

There are a few players that the Knicks passed on to take Knox in 2018, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one.  Fans can play the ‘if what’ game if Knox doesn’t start to turn his career around.  Knox is only 20-years old and still has big potential.

He’ll need to find a consistency in his game before his rookie contract is in two seasons.  The New York Knicks will most likely pick up his options because they don’t want to give up on Knox just yet.

Could Mike Miller be the head coach of the New York Knicks next season?

New York Knicks, Mike Miller

The New York Knicks were suppose to be in the market for a new coach next season.  However, new team president Leon Rose already likes interim coach Mike Miller.

SNYs Ian Begley reports that after 10 days on the job, Rose has a positive outlook on Miller.  Rose likes how Miller has handled the team under throughout it all.  Miller took over the Knicks after the David Fizdale was let go after a 4-17 start to the year.  Currently, the Knicks are 17-27 under Miller.

The players backed Fizdale upon being fired but then liked the way Miller began to orchestrate the team.  Miller has been a better coach than Fizdale.  With the amount of talent on the roster, Miller is doing better with rotations and playing the youth.  However, Miller does have his moments where his rotations and lineups leave Knicks fans scratching their heads.

Once Miller took over, the Knicks had a better offensive scheme and more ball movement.  But the Knicks love falling back into their old ways.  It’s what it is.

Julius Randle will go back into one-on-one isolation and others will be standing around the perimeter without moving.  The Knicks defense  has always been a struggle.  But under Miller, there’s more intensity and they push the upon getting a steal or rebound.

Miller has done a remarkable job with this Knicks team.  Fans would like to see what Miller can actually do with a group of more talented players.  The front office still has decisions to make regarding the coach.  If Miller is the guy, Rose better have some big moves up his sleeves for the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks don’t plan to give up on Kevin Knox, as they shouldn’t

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

The New York Knicks have high hopes for second-year man Kevin Knox.  The franchise took a chance in 2018 taking him 9th overall and it hasn’t been what they’ve hoped.

Knox’s former coach John Calipari said “It’s going to take time.”  The Knicks are giving it time as his second-year was not what fans expected.  It didn’t help the team added a lot of veteran power forwards either.

Calipari continued on a conference call reports Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.  “What you don’t want to do, and teams have done this in that league, is they give up on a young, young player too soon, and now all of a sudden the whole thing in New York would be, ‘Well, what if we had him? We gave him away. We should’ve held on longer, why did we do that?’  Young guys take longer to develop, especially when they’re big.  Guys with his size and skill, the game is going to him.”

Knox recently started to turn his game around before the season was suspended due to COVID-19.  You can see he was playing with confidence more so than any part of the season.  He was aggressive and doing more on defense.  His stats weren’t incredible but it was a start.  Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller had confidence in him throughout despite not giving him many minutes.

Knox still isn’t even 21-years old and has major potential.  Even when the Knicks drafted him Calipari said “he’s a project.”  But with Knox’s athleticism, length and wingspan, the finished product should be something special.

The Knicks have a lot of hope in Knox it just didn’t pan out this season.  That doesn’t mean they’re giving up on him.  It was a up-and-down first season then a bad sophomore season but there’s still hope.  If needed, Knox should take a vacation to G-league Westchester to find that confidence he once had.

If the Leon Rose and the new coach are on the same page, Knox’s development should be a top priority.  The New York Knicks need to instill confidence in him and watch him grow.

Safe to say Mike Miller won’t be the New York Knicks coach next season

Mike Miller, Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller isn’t auditioning well for new team president Leon Rose.  Miller has had head scratching rotations that have fans furious.

When Miller took over for David Fizdale, it was clear he was coaching for a permanent job.  While it was a good change, being unable to adapt when the times are tough is costing him.  Sticking with veteran Knicks players isn’t working.  Well, there’s a lot that isn’t working.

One thing that all fans can agree on, at this point in the season, is the young Knicks need to play.  Yes, it’s a broken record.  Playing or showcasing the veteran players time as passed.  It was good to give them more time before the trade deadline because they should’ve been dealt or bought out.

It could be that Rose needs more time evaluating what veteran players to bring back for next season?  If that’s the case, they things like that need to be said.  It’s that time where all young players with future potential need all the minutes.

Miller is starting to lose more than he’s trying to gain.  It’s still unsure what Rose may want for the Knicks next season.  If Miller wants another crack this gig next season, playing the youth is now his best bet.

The biggest concern is Miller’ starting lineup.  Mitchell Robinson needs to be starting.  Taj Gibson, while hes been solid for the Knicks, he isn’t a future asset, Robinson is.  Also, after his best performance of his career Tuesday night, Frank Ntilikina deserves a lot more time.  Miller needs to build off that play and aggressiveness and instill confidence in him at the guard position.

Another concern is the lack of shooters Miller has in his lineups.  Julius Randle is not a shooting guard.  Daymean Dotson and Allonzo Trier need time since they should be part of the youth movement and are shooting guards.  However, if Rose truly want to fix the New York Knicks he needs a coach that will move forward with youth and develop them.

The New York Knicks should prefer Atkinson over Thibodeau

Brooklyn Nets, Kenny Atkinson

The new president of the New York Knicks, Leon Rose, will need time to evaluate current personnel.  It seems like interim head coach Mike Miller, most likely, won’t be returning.  Rose will be looking for a more experienced coach.  But what he should be looking for is a developmental coach.

Kenny Atkinson was let go by the Brooklyn Nets.  This news came as a shock considering he’s doing the best possible job with the roster he has.  Coming from Knicks fans, that’s saying something.

Before the arrival of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Atkinson was able to take a young Nets roster to the playoffs.  And while fans probably won’t want to admit it, he put a better, younger product on the floor than the Knicks.

Last season, Atkinson had a group of young, role players that earned the 6th playoff spot in the East.  While it might not mean much in the East, he still developed a playoff team.  This season, his roster is even worse with the injuries to Irving and Durant and they’re still in the playoff picture, the Knicks are not.

Irving and Durant are headaches, so being relived of his duties isn’t on Atkinson.  It was more player driven, allegedly, well Irving driven.

Atkinson coming to the Knicks would be the best case scenario.  He can develop young players and that is what the Knicks need the most.  Tom Thibodeau remains high on the list for the position but isn’t high on developing youth.  Jeff Van Gundy is a pipe dream and shouldn’t want to leave his comfy job for the mess that is the Knicks anyway.   Atkinson should be the New York Knicks number one priority for developmental purposes.

New York Knicks Kevin Knox starting to show promise down the stretch

Towards the end of the season, New York Knicks second-year player Kevin Knox is making progress.  Knox has taken a beating in the media over his play this season.  But it’s starting to turn around.

Over the last couple games, Knox has been playing with a lot of confidence.  He appears like he’s more engaged in the game and is showing emotion, which is rare.  The Knicks hoped that this was the type of play he would’ve began the season with but seeing it now is better than nothing.

Last night, against the Pistons, Knox showed that when given more minutes, he can produce.  Interim coach Mike Miller is finally giving him more minutes over Reggie Bullock, which fans pleaded for.  Knox didn’t have spectacular stats, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal, but it was the little things that stood out.

Miller recently said that Knox was developing fine and even if he wasn’t producing in bigger ways, he was still contributing.  Last night finally rang true for the Knicks second-year product.

Knox was all over the place in the first-half.  He had some extra pep-in-his-step which was finally great to see.  A lot of fans have been souring on him but hopefully last night’s game gave them some positive vibes.

It’s not that Knox hasn’t been trying, he probably puts more work into his shot more than any other Knicks player.  It was seen before the game, the talent is there.  He’s only 20-years old and still coming into his own.

Some here have been very critical of Knox, hand up, because he has the ability to be a good player.  He’s young, still growing and has the determination to be part of the New York Knicks future.  This was the opportunity he needed to showcase that he deserves more minutes.

New York Knicks now need to give Allonzo Trier more minutes

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

Now that the New York Knicks season is basically over, it’s time to play the youth.  Despite what interim head coach Mike Miller says, they aren’t playing them nearly enough,  Allonzo Trier included.

Before the last two games, Trier wasn’t seen in a game since January 18th against Philadelphia.  Many Knicks fans have speculated the cause for the absence of play.  It could be that his defense continues to fall short of NBA standards.

Even if the season had promise, he should getting time regardless of his defensive capabilities.  The Knicks season can’t get any worse, literally.

This whole notion that the veteran players still need to be playing for a playoff push is nuts anymore.  The chances of the Knicks making the playoffs are no more.  Therefore, it’s time to play the youth, for the millionth time, and that includes Trier.

Trier remained a constant professional throughout the entire time he didn’t step on the court.  He was humble and hungry, waiting for the time that his name was finally called.  The Knicks could’ve used his services, greatly, during his stint on the bench.

Trier finally enter a game Monday in Houston getting 6 minutes of garbage time but made the best of it.  Going 3-4 from the field with 9 points.  Then last night in Charlotte, when the game was getting out of hand, he enter in the third quarter.  Trier basically brought the Knicks back and almost tied the game up with his shooting performance.

Trier ended up with 15 points on 6-8 from the field.  He missed a game tying shot but his confidence remains.  That shows his determination to gain more minutes, which is what the Knicks need more of.

The New York Knicks need to figure it out when the comes to a rotation.  And by rotation, we mean playing the younger players.  Playing veteran players aren’t going to do any good now, it’s only hurting the development of everyone else, especially Trier.

Mike Miller should coach the New York Knicks next season

Mike Miller, Frank Ntilikina

The New York Knicks have been waiting for a savior. There’s always hope that a star free agent, big-name executive, or a coach with a winning record will come and lead New York to the promised land. Maybe it’s time to stop daydreaming, and start building a team like everyone else.

Being disappointed year in and year out is difficult, especially for a fanbase as passionate as New York Knicks fans. When you’re so removed from not just a winning culture, but basic competence as an organization, you begin to look for quick-fixes that will “save” the team. This way of thinking is how you end up overlooking potentially valuable assets that you already have. The Knicks may have one in current head coach Mike Miller.

Let’s look at what Miller has accomplished since he took over for David Fizdale in December. Under David Fizdale, the Knicks offense ranked: 30th in field goal percentage, 29th in assist/turnover ratio, and 27th in pace. Under Mike Miller, the Knicks have ranked: 24th in field goal percentage, 20th in assist/turnover ratio, and 17th in pace.

His offense preaches a faster pace and efficient ball movement. Knicks’ forward Julius Randle recently said about Miller:

“Dealing with him (Miller) on a daily basis has been absolutely amazing while he interacts with us, how he coaches the game — everything. We’ve responded really well to him and he’s done a great job.”

Rumors have already begun to swirl about who the Knicks head coach will be next season. Big names like Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Tom Thibodeau are amongst those frequently mentioned. So if we’re looking for a change in coaching scheme/philosophy, let’s ask ourselves a question:

What would any of these coaches do differently than Mike Miller?

The Knicks want Jeff Van Gundy because… he coached the team 20 years ago? The Knicks want Mark Jackson because… he’s from New York? He has “New York Grit?” Sometimes, good coaches start off as unknowns. Examples include Utah’s Quinn Snyder, Toronto’s Nick Nurse, and Brooklyn’s Kenny Atkinson.

The Knicks record under Mike Miller is 13-20. If you were to take away David Fizdale’s 4-18 record and use Miller’s current pace, the Knicks would have a .400 record at 22-33. That would put them in a tie for 9th place in the Eastern Conference, 2 games back from the 8th seed. Can you imagine?!

There is some understandable frustration with Miller in how he has opted to play veterans over the Knicks’ younger players. What fans must realize is that he is coaching under impossible circumstances. He is in a situation where the new front office is already talking about having a new coach next season on ESPN.

All Mike Miller has done is put his head down, grind out wins, and connect with his players. We’ll see how the rest of the season pans out, but the Knicks may have already found their coach of the future.

Tom Thibodeau needs to change his style for the New York Knicks job

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

According to incoming new team president, Leon Rose, the New York Knicks are in the market for a new head coach.  There are three candidates who have been linked to the job.  Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Tom Thibodeau.

There have been reports that Thibodeau is a ‘serious candidate’ and he ‘can taste’ the Knicks job.  But is Thibodeau the best person for the job?

There’s no getting around it that Thibodeau is an old school coach.  He tends to lean towards veteran players over younger ones.  This was apparent with his short-lived tenure as president and head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Thibs had plenty of young talent, Karl-Anthony Town Zach LaVine and Jimmy Butler, to work with and he greatly underachieved.

The Knicks are young as well, so what makes fans think that he’ll do better with this young group.  Even when Thibodeau tried to adapt to the younger generation, he ran his young players into the ground.  There was no happy medium to his coaching style and players ultimately got hurt.

Thibodeau’s style in Minnesota was more one-on-one ball than team orientated.  The Knick have enough problems falling back into their old ways with one-on-one ball.  However, with Mike Miller, there has been more offensive schemes and ball movement as compared to Tom Thibodeau and David Fizdale’s systems.

For Thibodeau to be a good hire for the Knicks, he’ll need to change his style and adapt with the game.  It’ll be hard for him since his style seems to be embedded in stone.

The New York Knicks are rebuilding.  They don’t need a old-school coach who doesn’t want to change his coaching style.  Unless Thibs has changed it and is keeping it quite, the new front office has to consider all options.

As of yesterday, their are rumblings that Leon Rose’s could be introduced this week as new team president.  As well, more rumblings of Thibs ‘90%’ likely to be the new head coach.