2. Thibodeau lacks creativity on offense
In his first season with the Knicks, Thibodeau was able to capture the 2020-2021 NBA Coach of the Year Award for the outstanding performance the team put together. New York was one of the best defensive teams in the league and Julius Randle played at an All-NBA level. Derrick Rose was also in the conversation for NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Everything was clicking in his first season.
In year two, it seems as if he was desperate to repeat 2020-21 with the same formula. Randle was the centerpiece of New York’s offense and defenses were well prepared to stop him. Thibodeau was hesitant to switch the rotation numerous times and he was reluctant to try and get other players baskets.
The Knicks had talented offensive players, they just were not utilized correctly last season by the head coach. Evan Fournier was being asked to create his own shot at times when he is truly a spot-up shooter. He could’ve been a lethal weapon, but Thibodeau didn’t do anything to get him involved consistently. The same could be said for Kemba Walker when he was healthy.
When the injuries did occur to Walker and Rose, Thibodeau decided to pencil in Alec Burks as the point guard, even though he’s never played that position before. Immanuel Quickley, along with Miles McBride, were capable of taking the role on.
Mitchell Robinson is also very skilled offensively, but he was rarely involved in the offense at times as well. The Knicks are very talented, yet Thibodeau has struggled to draw up plays for other players on the team who could make serious contributions.