Thibodeau on How Knicks Deal with Double Teams of Randle & Brunson

Tom Thibodeau on how the Knicks deal with double teams of Julius Randlewhen he was asked about it after a win against the Wizards on January 13, 2023:

Depends On Who’s Coming & Where They’re Coming From

“A lot of it is who’s coming, and where they’re coming from.

And then sometimes just using that escape dribble to stretch the trap out — to give him space; to get it out. Usually those are the best plays. When he gets off it, he’s done a good job of creating offense. Sometimes it’s coming quick.”

Team Has to Read Where Double Team Is Coming From

“I always like to look at the film to make sure — ’cause we also have to read:

  • Are they going on the flight of the ball?
  • Are the going on the catch?
  • Are they going on the dribble?
  • Are they coming from the baseline?
  • Are they coming from the top?”

Where are they coming from? — and then… ”

Team Has to Be in the Right Spots & Build Trust

“Are we in the right spots?

  • If we’re cutting away and our back is to the play and he’s getting doubled, then that puts him in a pickle.

So everyone has to get to their spots, and everyone has to trust —

  • So that, ok if I’m supposed to flood the baseline, be there. So he knows he can stretch it out — escape dribble, and then reverse pivot and hit the baseline.
  • And then if we’re supposed to have a cutter come through the elbow know that that’s your job — you got to get that done. And if you don’t get it — you have to get back out — we have to re-space the floor so that we can continue to play.

It’s no different than all aspects of the game — it’s not just Julius being double-teamed, it’s the spacing around him.”

On Helping Brunson with Double Teams

“Same thing when Jalen gets double teamed in a pick-and-roll everyone has to read that and we have to make sure he has 3 outlets, so he can get off the ball quick.”

In the game against Washington, Jalen Brunson scored 34 points for the 2nd consecutive game — his 4th 30-plus point game in a row. Randle added 23 points. RJ Barrett added 17 and Immanuel Quickley had 18 off the bench. Quentin Grimes and Mitchell Robinson were other Knicks helping to space the floor.

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