OK, Coach Thibs: Now what?
Your Knicks, sorry 105-94 losers to the Hawks, are in a 2-1 first-round playoff gap and looked nothing like your Knicks in a disastrous Game 3 loss at howling State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Now is the time so that you can be that nice coach your group wants.
Tom Thibodeau did Coach of the Year work in the course of the common season. It’s on him now to repair the present mess.
Julius Randle (2-for-15, 2-for-7 from downtown) and RJ Barrett (2-for-9, 1-for-5 from downtown), your Batman and Robin during the regular season, showed up as Fisher and Fizdale.
Randle shrinking within the face of fixed double-teams — some triple-teams — will give your Knicks no probability to win this collection.
These issues can occur within the playoffs when the stakes are this excessive, even when nobody may presumably have seen this coming.
But abandoning the proud tradition of protection that Thibodeau has established and permitting Trae Young to just about do as he pleases needs to be each bit as regarding, if not downright appalling to him.
“I thought our defense in Game 2 was vital because it got us into the open floor, it got us some easy buckets, and I didn’t think we ever really got our defense going in this game,” Thibodeau mentioned. “We have to understand the intensity we have to bring to each game.”
Knicks followers can relaxation assured that Thibs will watch movie till his eyes are bloodshot. He gained’t stand for a efficiency like this any greater than Pat Riley or Jeff Van Gundy would.
The Hawks — 16-for-27 from downtown — blew it open with a 29-13 second quarter, and Young (21 factors, 14 assists) was laughing on the Knicks, mocking them, wanting like a child on the playground, his forays into the paint discovering no resistance … and it’s unacceptable. How about knocking him on his butt simply as soon as, simply to ship him a message that that is severe enterprise, and to hell with the flagrant foul?
Because the very essence of the Thibodeau Knicks — grit and coronary heart and combat — was principally left behind on the Garden.
Road Kill as a substitute.
Only Derrick Rose (13-for-21, 30 factors, six assists) confirmed up as a prepared veteran with the type of psychological toughness, and poise within the noise, and fearlessness it takes to attempt to silence a hostile crowd.
“Does anyone know how many fast break points we had today?” Rose mentioned.
“I think that we didn’t look to push the open court enough,” Rose mentioned.
Thibodeau neatly began Rose and Taj Gibson, his trusted veteran warriors who perceive the way to navigate the treacherous playoff waters, however why is Randle (13-for-44 for the collection) drowning within the first playoffs of his profession? The magnitude of the second was by no means too huge for Barrett (13-for-38 for the collection) at Duke. What offers right here, abruptly?
Apologies to Walt Frazier, however they have been tentative and preventative on offense.
But his star participant, who listened to a serenade of “overrated” on the foul line late within the third quarter, seems to be struggling a disaster of confidence.
Randle is solely not making fast selections and eliminating the ball early to be an efficient facilitator. If John Collins or Danilo Gallinari are guarding him, after which Clint Capela comes over to hawk him, the Knicks are taking part in four-on-three for a break up second.
They have been the Brickerbockers Bros.
Thibodeau is the preparation grasp, so it’s a attain to make the argument that he didn’t have his group ready.
“When you get the second defender on the ball, their responsibility is to get rid of it, to make plays for their teammates,” Thibodeau mentioned.
All the Knicks had on Friday evening was themselves.
Knicks Against the World.
The World gained, and it wasn’t shut.
“Their attitude is very upbeat, and their work ethic is second to none,” Thibodeau mentioned. “We’re disappointed, obviously, in the way we played, and we’ll take a good, hard look at it and come back with more determination in the next game. We have great belief in each other. We have to settle back down, and hopefully we’ll play better on Sunday.”
Your transfer, Coach.