Tom Thibodeau is the new head coach of the Knicks, but there is a lot of skepticism. One reason for this is that Thibodeau was unable to connect with his young players. This complaint was filed after it failed to last three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which hosted two previous n. 1 to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
This certainly offers reason for skepticism, but not to forget: Tom Thibodeau has shown he can train young teams in the playoffs.
The Chicago Bulls have won 41 games in 2009-10 and I won’t try to convince you that it’s insignificant. When Thibodeau took over as manager, however, six of his best and most important players were 25 and under.
That list includes Derrick Rose (22), Omer Asik (24), Luol Deng (25), Joakim Noah (25), Taj Gibson (25) and Ronnie Brewer (25), five of whom are ranked in the top seven in the team in a few minutes per game.
Asik would continue to become a key spin resource in future seasons, and Jimmy Butler made his debut and made his first All-Star Game appearance under Thibodeau.
Additionally, Minnesota has played its only significant basketball since 2004 under Thibodeau. Butler – again, a player developed by Thibodeau – may have been the team’s veteran leader, but Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins were both 23 at the end of the season.
If the Knicks plan to surround the young core with respected veterans who prioritize defense, Thibodeau has shown he knows what to do with that type of list.