3 ways Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau can improve for 2023 season

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Tom Thibodeau tempo
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

2. Start your engines

Out of all 30 teams in the NBA last season, the Knicks ranked tied for 29th in pace. Pace doesn’t always equal success, but teams like the Timberwolves (1st) and Grizzlies (3rd) were in the top three.

Often looking stagnant last season, the offense at points was abysmal. RJ Barrett looked overwhelmed, Randle was dribbling into double teams, and the ball movement was terrible. Ranking dead last in assists per game, a faster and more fun offense could give this team a new approach.

Jalen Brunson gives the Knicks a primary ball handler who has proven he can dish it around. Electric guard Immanuel Quickley can greatly benefit from a more up tempo offense, as his smaller size may limit what he can do in the half court. Obi Toppin is another player that could benefit from running more. Toppin works best in open space, and countless times last season, it felt like he was just standing in the corner in the half court offense. That was, in the limited time Toppin saw the court last season.

In 2021-22, the Knicks ranked last in pace. It’s a similar thought to playing the older players — all of this is great when it’s working. Winning cures all. Last season, the Knicks were not winning, not evaluating young players, and not playing an exciting style of basketball.

Tom Thibodeau needs to looks at his roster and realize faster tempo will unlock the best version of it. A team of young-to-mid-20’s should be able to run and space the floor. Another season of continuous slow play with a low point total and inefficient offense will be frustrating to watch knowing the personnel could be used better.