Raise Knicks to a higher level

Enough time has passed for us to be able to work properly Tom Thibodeau I did it at Knicks last year from that proper point of view. And if anything, it’s bigger and more strongly resonates than this spring. The fact is that it is an exclusive Pantheon of New York coaching achievements and belongs to the lean air.

Throughout the history of professional sports in our town, there are only two examples with a ring similar to last year’s Tibodo, which led Knicks to a 41-31 record and was only the fourth victory record in the last 20 years. is. , It was only the second time that I finished over .500 in double digits at that time.

Gil Hodges is in the photo of the team. When he took over Mets before the 1968 season, the history of the franchise was full of bahoons and bahoons. The average Mets record for 1962-67 was 54-108. Slapstick comedies were everywhere. When he got a job, Hodges was asked if he thought he could make Mets .500 within five years.

“I have a higher ambition than that,” he said. It took him two years to design the 1969 miracle, but the 73-89 record that persuaded Mets in 1968 was a very mysterious and stubborn extract in itself. From a brutal history. That year, Tom Seaver later stated: “We became a baseball team and it wasn’t a bad comedy act. Gil never forgives it.”

Bill Parcells is in the photo of the team. When he was hired by Jets in February 1997, Jets was as comical as Mets in the 1960s, breaking a disastrous 1-15 record in 1996, with almost a decade of relentless recession and bad history. It’s clogged. Actors and worse football.

Tom Thibodeau
Corey Shipkin

“The challenge is to win the championship here,” Parcels said that day.

He never got there, but a year after 1-15, the jet was 9-7, then 12-4, within 30 minutes of the Super Bowl. But perhaps the best work of Parcels’ career was the first year of a fierce end in the final week of the season in Detroit (think of the one-day version of the Hawks series).

There’s Tibodo’s 2020-21 masterpiece, on the shelves next to two spectacular turnarounds (perhaps Davey Johnson and ’84 Mets can say about joining them, That’s all). It was the depth of the sinkhole that Knicks occupied, and how harsh their situation was. In one thin season, Tibodo changed the whole story. It was a very good year.

And what do you do for the encore?

“Always, it’s defense first” RJ Barrett I asked if Tibodo’s message and his approach, which I said a few days ago, are anyway different between the second and first years. That was the message. It makes us at the end of the day and helps us reach the level we want to reach. Share the ball Move the ball. “

In the second year, some companies may compare with ’68 Hodges and ’97 Parcells. Of course, Mets was blessed with pixie dust. The jet was brought to the brink by a rejuvenated Vinnie Testabade. Knicks could use a little of what Mets had in 1969, and could probably use Kemba Walker to channel Vinnie’s comeback Mojo.

Tom Thibodeau aims to take Julius Randle and the rest of the Knicks to new heights in the second year of his administration.
Tom Thibodeau aims to take Julius Randle and the rest of the Knicks to new heights in the second year of his administration.
NBAE via Getty Images

But the difficult truth is this. This year is much better than last year and we can’t win or move up many games. This is the simple reality of the Eastern Conference, which is projected to be much deeper, even when two-thirds of the elite teams (Brooklyn and Philadelphia) are currently in various turmoil.

Not surprisingly, it doesn’t matter to Tibodo. And he expects the first fast speed to have no grace period.

“Every year we start with zero base,” he said. “What happened last year was last year. You have to start over and lay the groundwork based on attack and defense. And you keep building every day.”

The Knicks would miss Elfrid Payton (which was stable all year long until he fell late) and Reggie Bullock, but won the upgrade with Walker and Evan Fournier. But anyone else who fell below Knicks last year can talk about basic upgrades. They looked good in the preseason.

“But the important thing is to make sure you’re ready at the Celtics at the Garden on the opening night when the ball goes up on the 20th,” said Tibodo.

Knicks is ready and Tibodo is more eager to see what the second year will bring than anyone else. Last year’s hard work was spectacular and historic. And this time it may be even heavier.

“I really love this group,” he said, and it goes without saying: many basketball New Yorkers feel the same and want to join him.

Raise Knicks to a higher level

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