Thibodeau on How to Win

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau on building a winning team:

  1. “Getting stops.
  2. Pushing the ball up the floor
  3. A conscious effort by everyone to help create rhythm for the team. Not necessarily going off on your own — there’s going to be opportunities for that. But…
  • Understand how important it is to play off the pass.
  • Understand how important it is to move without the ball.
  • Understand how important it is to do something for someone else.

It’s a 5-man game; 5-man game on offense; 5-man game on on defense. It’s not 1-on-1.

The more time the guys play together they build chemistry. They understand. They can read.

So Ok — Julius is being doubled in the middle of the floor. Let’s double flood. Let’s get a guy to the middle. Let’s get a guy along the .. get to the spots. And get there quickly.

So he knows ok I’m being doubled I know that guy is going to be there. If we’re being blitzed on an angle pick and roll, make sure we have the 3 outlets filled. We always talk about the guy behind you — get all the way up the airport doesn’t matter — so if you pivot you know the guy’s there, so it’s easy to get the ball out of the trap. I always say it’s really the 2nd pass against the trap.”

Full interview here — after Knicks beat Sacramento on Dec 11, 2022 to go 14-13 on the year, with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett leading the team with 27 points each, Jalen Brunson getting 17, Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein dominating inside, and the Knicks backcourt of Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, and Immanuel Quickley playing suffocating defense.

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