3. Why Tom Thibodeau is the right hire for the Knicks: 2012-13 was a Thibodeau style formula
The 2012-13 New York Knicks were led by scoring champion Carmelo Anthony and a roster that set the then-record for three-point field goals made. Due to this, the false narrative has been created that the Knicks were an offensive-minded team.
Led by defensive-minded head coach Mike Woodson, however, the Knicks found offensive success by first prioritizing defense—a Tom Thibodeau style approach.
The 2010-11 Chicago Bulls won 62 games and reached the Eastern Conference Finals with a similar approach. The team went all-in on defense, thus enabling Derrick Rose to make the leap to MVP status as the No. 1 scoring option.
When Rose missed all of 2012-13, we saw a similar formula pay off with Nate Robinson taking the postseason scoring lead during the upset of the Brooklyn Nets in Round 1.
The 2017-18 Minnesota Timberwolves admittedly ranked 27th in defensive rating, but that number is quite misleading. Minnesota went 19-4 when it held opponents below 100 points and 27-8 when it limited opponents to fewer than 105.
In other words: Minnesota, too, won games by prioritizing defense in order to make the game easier for its primary scoring option.
Having scorers of Anthony, Rose, and Karl-Anthony Towns’ caliber certainly helped Thibodeau’s cause, but the Knicks’ front office aspires to find or develop a franchise player itself.