Thibodeau on the Need to Talk on Defense

Tom Thibodeau on how the Knicks play transition Defense, and talking on Defense in general — during a post-game interview after a win against the Wizards on January 13, 2023:

  1. “First thing we want to do is protect the basket. You don’t have a man in transition — you protect the basket, find the ball.
  2. And then everyone has to point and talk. So you might be saying ‘my man my ball’ so we don’t get two run into 1 and leave a guy wide open. We had one situation where we left Kispert wide open on the weak side. That shouldn’t happen.

It’s everyone communicating.”

“Look you can’t have a great defense unless you have a lot of talk. And it has to be a lot of talk. That ties everyone together. It gives you a heard start on what’s coming; what everyone needs to do. Sometimes we’re great at it; sometimes we’re not as great as we need to be. But if we want to have a great defense, we have to get that done.”

These quotes came before Mitchell Robinson sprained his thumb in a game against Washington several nights later (a pseudo home-and-home) and needed surgery that will keep him out at least 3 weeks. The Knicks are now starting Jericho Sims in his absence, with Isaiah Hartenstein backing, and Julius Randle playing some center with Obi Toppin up front.

It will also be up to the Knick guards — RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, and Miles McBride — to do a lot of talking on D.


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