NY Knicks: 2 Things we learned from Tom Thibodeau’s 1st season

Tom Thibodeau, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Rich Schultz/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Thibodeau, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Rich Schultz/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tom Thibodeau, NY Knicks. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks’ first season with Tom Thibodeau as head coach was one of the best years for the team in recent memory.

Tom Thibodeau has an extensive NBA coaching career and might be one of the most recognizable coaches in the entire league. That doesn’t mean the opinions around him and his fit as coach of the Knicks have been always been unanimously positive.

NY Knicks: Tom Thibodeau’s expectations

There was a time, just one year ago, where expectations for the NY Knicks were… well… low. Julius Randle was largely seen as having 1 foot out the door and RJ Barrett had to take a sizeable leap forward to even be comparable to Ja Morant and others drafted around him.

When you take yourself back to that time: preseason 2020, I think my outlook and the majority of fans’ outlooks were just hoping that there was some promise.

Hoping that the Knicks’ young talent developed and they were bad enough to get a top draft pick in a loaded 2021 class. No more “Bad team but not the worst team, with zero inspiring young talent that ends up picking 8th in the draft.”

There was very little hope that this team could even sniff the playoffs. They had been 7 years removed from their last postseason appearance.

Tom Thibodeau isn’t exactly known as the patient, player-development guru. There were certainly some naysayers when he was hired as the Knicks’ new head coach.

Well, his first season could not have gone any better. There may have been some bumps along the way and a leftover sour taste with how things ended in the playoffs… but we’re talking about the playoffs. We haven’t been talking about the playoffs since 2013.

So what did we learn about the 2021 version of Tom Thibodeau? Is there more success to come?