Tom Thibodeau sounded stunned his buddy and former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy thought it could be a nasty concept if the Knicks made the play-in match. They have been three video games out of the tenth spot with 23 video games to go getting into Friday’s contest in opposition to Miami.
On ESPN Radio, Van Gundy, now a prime broadcaster, mentioned at first of the All-Star break that the Knicks getting the tenth slot within the Japanese Convention can be idiot’s gold.
“I really like Thibodeau and need the Knicks to have success, however long-term I’m unsure making the play-in can be factor for them as a result of it could give them a false sense of phantasm that they’re nearer to being workforce than they are surely,’’ Van Gundy mentioned. “I feel the very best factor that may occur to them is to comprehend how far they need to go.’’
Van Gundy has by no means believed in tanking — and it’s unclear he was suggesting that — however Thibodeau nonetheless appeared bewildered by his former boss’ take.
When requested if he’s stunned Van Gundy would go there, Thibodeau mentioned, “That’s one thing that I’d anticipate from you [the media].’’
“For me and for our workforce, we’ve bought to deal with right now, preparing for the sport and hold shifting ahead,’’ Thibodeau added. “Clearly, you wish to do the very best that you may. After which for you guys that’s what your job is, you do all of the speculating, what ought to occur, what we should always do? That’s the great thing about the sport. For us, we’ve bought to lock in, we’ve bought to do the very best that we are able to and I imagine now we have greater than sufficient to get it executed.’’
In additional remarks, Van Gundy didn’t crucial tout taking part in the younger guys within the title of tanking, however repeated his theme concerning the roster being “mediocre.’’
“If you happen to’re throughout the workforce, it’s important to maintain on to hope [RJ] Barrett comes again, [Derrick] Rose comes again,’’ Van Gundy mentioned. “And despite the fact that you could have a troublesome schedule, you discover your manner with a rotation. Since I’m not a part of the workforce and I observe — and I watch each sport however 3 or 4 — since I’m an enormous fan of the Knicks and Thibodeau I don’t see it. I haven’t seen it from the beginning of the 12 months. When you could have mediocre roster it’s important to play with a starvation and desperation that we noticed final 12 months. This 12 months it’s nonetheless a mediocre roster, notably within the top-end expertise, They’re had a number of extra well being points.’’
Van Gundy made his remarks through the All-Star break and earlier than Rose was ruled out indefinitely after surgical procedure Friday.
“If you happen to’re Thibodeau, the way you play can change a bit, who you play can change,’’ Van Gundy added. “You possibly can attempt to play a man like [rookie] Miles McBride off the bench. You can provide a extra distinguished function to Cam Reddish. However with everybody of these choices to play any individual extra, you’re going to remove from any individual else.’’
Barrett returned from his ankle sprain Friday after lacking 4 straight video games. “He had break,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. … Heart Nerlens Noel, bothered by a knee damage, additionally was a go.