Tom Thibodeau Wins NBA Coach Of The Year
The New York Knicks‘ remarkable season is getting its latest recognition.
Tom Thibodeau, the team’s head coach, was named NBA Coach of the Year on Monday. This marks Thibodeau’s second time winning the award, the first being in 2011 with the Chicago Bulls, as well as the first time a Knicks coach has won the award since Pat Riley in the 1992-93 season. In Thibodeau’s first season at the helm, the Knicks finished with a 41-31 record in the shortened 2020-2021 season, good enough for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. This came after a 12th place finish last season and low expectations for the team coming into this season. The Knicks had not reached the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season, and few believed that they could reach the playoffs in Thibodeau’s first campaign.
Working in tandem with Thibodeau’s coaching was the emergence of forward Julius Randle. Randle had a breakout season, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. Randle received his first All-Star Game nod and won the NBA Most Improved Player award. Randle helped lead the Knicks to home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. However, he did not play up to his regular-season standard in the playoffs, and the Knicks were eliminated in five games by the Atlanta Hawks.
With a young, developing group who showed promise this season, Thibodeau has plenty to work with going forward. The Knicks are poised to be a presence in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the coming years under his leadership.
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