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Knicks’ Coach Tom Thibodeau spills one regret after tough loss to Stephen Curry and the Warriors


The New York Knicks‘ triumphant NBA trade deadline day on Feb. 8 feels like it was years ago following their recent run of misfortune. Injuries have decimated this hopeful group and pushed it closer to the danger zone, also known as the NBA Play-In Tournament picture. The team’s troubles persisted on Thursday night.

The surging Golden State Warriors came into Madison Square Garden and quickly jumped to a 14-0 lead, as Stephen Curry again made the city his own with an impressive showing (game-high 31 points, 11 rebounds). They never trailed on their way to a 110-99 victory.

Because New York (35-25) is sorely missing the production of Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, it is imperative that head coach Tom Thibodeau aces his lineup decisions. He was self-critical of the way he specifically handled one player, and it might not be who Knicks fans think.

“If you look at {Alec Burks‘} net rating, and again tonight, I probably should have played him more minutes tonight,” Thibodeau said postgame, per Knicks Videos on SNY. “He’s a plus when he’s on the floor, good things are happening. So just keep working.”

Alec Burks’ second stint with Knicks not going how fans hoped

New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Burks scored just five points on 2-of-6 shooting in 11 minutes of action but obviously left a strong, analytical impression on the HC. The 32-year-old is scuffling mightily since returning to New York as part of the Bojan Bogdanovic trade (31.4 percent from field), so it’s somewhat surprising to hear this endorsement.

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The minutes distribution decision Knickerbocker fans probably expected Thibodeau to second-guess was the 47 he gave Josh Hart. One could also argue that Miles “Deuce” McBride could have gotten more playing time after he scored 14 efficient points in 22 minutes. Though, his lack of size might leave this Jalen Brunson-led backcourt vulnerable against bigger guards.

While it is crucial to perfect all the little things in the absences of Randle and Anunoby, the Knicks simply do not have the firepower to consistently beat formidable competition right now. If they want to avoid falling out of fourth place in the East before the reinforcements arrive (only one game clear of eighth), then they must dig deep within themselves.

A Sunday night road matchup versus the Cleveland Cavaliers (38-20) may not be an ideal opportunity to stop the bleeding.

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About the Author

Alex House is a sportswriter who is comfortable covering many different sports. He grew up in a New York sports-heavy region in Connecticut and earned his journalism degree at the University of Rhode Island. His in-depth knowledge of two of the most passionate and raucous fan bases in the country gives him a truly unique writing voice.


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