Tom Thibodeau sees similarity between Jalen Brunson-led squad and Nineties Knicks

Feb 27, 2023; Contemporary York, Contemporary York, USA; Contemporary York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) controls the ball against the Boston Celtics all over the fourth quarter at Madison Square Backyard.

Feb 27, 2023; Contemporary York, Contemporary York, USA; Contemporary York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) controls the ball against the Boston Celtics all over the fourth quarter at Madison Square Backyard. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau became once an assistant coach with the Knicks for seven seasons, initiating in 1996-97. So he had a front-row seat to the franchise’s final period of sustained success.

He sees one similarity between these teams and the 2022-23 Knicks: their on an ordinary foundation habits.

“I bask in instructing these guys, they’re dedicated to 1 yet another,” Thibodeau mentioned earlier than his team beat the Nets soundly for his or her seventh-straight seize. “They’re residing in the gym, they’re gym rats, so they’re going to get better and better.”

The map in which this Knicks team approaches apply/making ready for video games reminds Thibodeau of a number of of the mid-to-gradual Nineties Knicks teams.

“Patrick Ewing dwelling the tone for all of that,” Thibodeau mentioned. “When you walked in [the gym] – stands out as the center of the summer season – he became once in there, he became once your hardest employee,” Thibodeau mentioned. “When your simplest players are surroundings the tone for the team, it’s special.”

The 2022-23 model of Ewing is Jalen Brunson. The well-known time Thibodeau saw Brunson in the gym with his Knicks teammates this summer season, he became once reminded of a number of of the Ewing-Allan Houston Knick teams.

“I detest to content it nonetheless … that’s what their team became once bask in,” Thibodeau mentioned of the teams that won a combined seven playoff series from 1997-2000.

Thibodeau’s first impression of Brunson and the Knicks has proved factual. Under Brunson’s leadership, Contemporary York has climbed to fifth attach in the Japanese Conference with five weeks to switch in the regular season.

The team looks to dangle adopted Brunson’s team-first mentality. Stare no further than Wednesday, when six Knicks scored no longer decrease than 13 facets against the Nets.

“We’re winning. What’s better than that? Everybody always says they wanna be portion of a winning team and stuff, and that’s kinda what it looks bask in,” RJ Barrett mentioned. “Right a bunch of lawful players. You don’t know whose night it’s gonna be on any given night. But we always play laborious and it is no longer well-known what we all cheer for every and every other.”

It became once Brunson’s night on Wednesday. He had 30 facets in the first half of on 12-of-14 taking pictures. He then took true one shot in the third quarter, picking to dwelling up his teammates and perceive for primarily the most easy shot on a given play.

“It’s easy while you wobble up 20, 30 to form of dangle that mentality of ‘alright, let me be a miniature more aggressive. I’m five facets far from my occupation excessive let me wobble safe it,’” Josh Hart mentioned. “But [Brunson] is someone who plays within himself. He’s a team-first player. He wants to be worthwhile and he wants his team to be worthwhile. He’s intriguing to sacrifice when he needs to. He’s intriguing to form the true play and the true wobble and that’s one thing that we lean on him for.”

Brunson wasn’t primarily the most easy Knick who shot it correctly against Brooklyn. Quentin Grimes had 22 facets in 26 minutes, hitting six of nine three-level makes an are trying. Overall, Contemporary York hit 20 of 35 threes.

In a while, there were plenty of jokes among players in the Knicks locker room. Even Thibodeau managed to smile on the sideline in the fourth quarter of Contemporary York’s blowout seize.

“Everybody is true fun to be around,” Grimes mentioned. “….The final 20-one thing video games, of us were clicking in, buying for in, no longer shy about particular person stuff. Right tense about what they can invent to again the team. And also you peep it accessible on the court docket every night.”


Derrick Rose will dangle asked for a buyout from the Knicks and signed with one other playoff team. Perchance he would dangle had a rotation space with that team. He selected to pause in Contemporary York, where he’s for the time being out of the rotation. Thibodeau looks grateful that Rose elected to pause with his team.

“We know the map well-known he’s to the team,” Thibodeau mentioned. “…. Whatever your role is, comprise your role, star to your role and again in any formula you’ll be ready to. And Derrick, whether he became once the MVP of the league, whether he became once a starter coming off an damage or coming off the bench or no longer in the rotation, he’s a finally obvious man. He’s been via loads. And going via adversity, he’s long past via it all.

“He’s always lifting of us up. So a enormous portion of portion of leadership is well-known to be truthful. I non-public that’s the map you assemble have confidence with each and every other. But it absolutely’s also well-known to get of us up and I non-public that’s what he does. No longer shy about himself, always puts the team first. And he’s always been a huge old say for all our younger guys, for all our players. No longer true the younger guys.”

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