In less than two months, Jalen Brunson will make his official debut as the point guard of the New York Knicks. For a team that’s been desperate for a true point guard for so long, Brunson’s arrival is vital to the direction that New York is headed in. And although Tom Thibodeau hasn’t spoken out about the Knicks signing Brunson, he’s reportedly ready to help transform his game.
If we took a poll of everyone who was reading this, the chances are that the majority wouldn’t be in favor of Thibodeau. He helped to guide New York to a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2020-21 en route to winning the NBA Coach of the Year award, but reality struck the Knicks this past season as they finished out of reach of the play-in tournament.
Although many believed that Thibs should’ve been let go, he’s back in New York for the third consecutive season as head coach. After forcing fans to watch Alec Burks at point guard, Thibodeau won’t be able to do the same this upcoming season.
The coach doesn’t flash a smile often, but he’s reportedly “ecstatic” about the Knicks’ major move of the offseason.
Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau is reportedly ‘ecstatic’ about getting to work with Jalen Brunson
Here’s what New York Post’s Marc Berman wrote:
Thibodeau has not spoken to the press, incredibly, since the April 10 season finale, but according to a source, the Knicks coach is ecstatic about Brunson’s arrival. He thinks he can turn Brunson from “a B-minus player to a B-plus player.’’ The key is teaching him to become a sharper defender despite being undersized.
You should’ve already known that Thibs was ready to help Brunson become a better defender as a defensive-minded coach. At 6’11, the guard’s a good defender, but as Berman mentioned, Brunson lacks size, which is to no fault of his own. Although Thibodeau hasn’t spoken publicly about the acquisition, he seems to be ready to tackle the opportunity of helping Brunson become a “B-plus player.”
In 2020-21, the Knicks’ defense was a huge part of the reason why they were able to lock in a playoff berth under Thibodeau.
That same defensive grit wasn’t present last season, but you can bet that Thibs is going to do everything that he can to get New York back to that level, starting with Brunson.
And if Quentin Grimes isn’t traded in a possible Donovan Mitchell deal and earns a starting spot, a Brunson-Grimes backcourt will be a sight to see. That’s right up Thibodeau’s alley.
In a few short weeks, training camp will begin. Shortly thereafter, the Knicks will open up the 2022-23 season in Memphis against the Grizzlies. If Thibodeau is excited about something, that says a lot, so bring it on.