New York Knicks: The 5 biggest offseason storylines

Madison Square Garden, NY Knicks. POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Madison Square Garden, NY Knicks. POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Avoiding a sophomore slump for Tom Thibodeau:

The Knicks finished the season with a 41-31 record, and a majority of that success can be attributed to head coach Tom Thibodeau. That being said, Thibs’ unrelenting coaching style has been known to drift on the spectrum from lifting expectations to overbearing and exhausting.

After Thibs made the playoffs with the Timberwolves in just his second season in charge, the T-Wolves struggled out the gate during the 2018-2019 season, and Thibs was fired after winning just 19 games out of their first 40 contests.

Some of the previous criticisms that have followed Thibs throughout his career reared their ugly heads during his T-Wolves tenure and even during the beginning of this past season with the Knicks. Fans might have forgotten, but the Knicks offense was running at dial-up speed until Derrick Rose was traded to the team. Similarly, up until the All-Start break, the Knicks spent the season at the bottom of the league in both three-pointers made and attempted.

And while the Knicks certainly hit their stride this year, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett were number one and two in the league in minutes played respectively. Despite the Knicks clearly being better when those players are on the court, Thibs needs to make a concerted effort in keeping his players fresh for a long season in year two.

Despite a tough ending to the 2020-2021 season, Knicks fans are ready to see what the future holds. The only certainty is that these storylines and many more will provide the answer to whether the Knicks’ success this past season was a precursor to a golden era or a flash in a pan.

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