Tom Thibodeau starts work with young Knicks
MANILA, Philippines—The New York Knicks had their first go-around with their new coach Tom Thibodeau as the NBA teams who are not in the bubble have resumed training.
Thibodeau, who was hired in July, said in a ESPN.com report that he’s excited about coaching the young Knicks, especially the 2019 no. 3 draft RJ Barrett
The former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach said the Knicks would be centered around the 2019 no. 3 draft pick despite a rocky start in his career
Barrett averaged 14.3 points a game during the season but shot at a disappointing 40.2 percent from the field and 32% from deep ultimately excluding from him from all three All-Rookie teams.
“These are the initial steps. The offseason is critical for any young player. So obviously, you can get going on the development piece, which I think is critical. That holds true for all our players. But he’s been great, eager, he’s working hard. If he does that day after day, he will improve quite a bit,” said Thibodeau.
Teaming up with Barrett are fellow young players Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox. Robinson has already established himself as a respectable rim protector and rebounder.
To bring out the potential out of Knox, New York hired former Wildcats assistant Kenny Payne who worked with the 6-foot-7 forward during his lone collegiate year in Kentucky.
Thibodeau, however, said that it won’t be an instant turnaround for Knox and that it would take a consistent effort for him to reach expectations.
“There’s no magic formula where you’re going to get everything done in one day,” said Thibodeau. “I think it’s about establishing and building the right habits to be successful. So you’re putting in the foundation of an offensive system and a defensive system and how you’re going to go about your business.”
“I think it’s all about building the right habits so the team can get better and improve as time goes on. Kevin’s come in and he’s done quite a bit of work. It’s the same thing. … I’m getting to know him and he’s getting to know me. It will take some time. But I like what he’s done so far.”