Tom Thibodeau, the head coach of the Knicks, received his second Coach of the Year Award, the N.B.A. introduced Monday.
All it took was engineering a fast turnaround by one of the league’s marquee franchises.
Thibodeau guided the Knicks to a stunning fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court benefit in the playoffs this 12 months, surpassing most preseason expectations whereas utilizing largely the identical roster that completed close to the backside of the league the season earlier than.
Asked on TNT’s “Inside The N.B.A.” whether or not he needed to change his messaging to adapt to at the moment’s N.B.A., Thibodeau, who began as an assistant in the league in 1989-90, stated Monday, “I think you always have to look at how you’re delivering the message, but it doesn’t change all the things that you believe in.”
“What you think goes into winning and that’s the hard work, the discipline, the sacrifice, playing for each other, and that was the best thing about our team,” Thibodeau stated on the present after being introduced as the winner. “Every day you look forward to seeing them. Sometimes we fell short, but the next day they came back with great determination and their willingness to play for each other was special.”
Thibodeau additionally received the award in his first season as an N.B.A. head coach, when he led the Chicago Bulls to a 62-20 report throughout the 2010-11 season. A decade later, with Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson once more on his roster, he has develop into the first coach to win the award in his first season with two completely different franchises, and the 10th to win it a number of occasions. The final Knicks coach to win was Pat Riley after the 1992-93 season. Thibodeau was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs then.
Thibodeau garnered 43 first-place votes and 351 whole factors, solely barely forward of Monty Williams, the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. Williams completed in second place with 340 factors, regardless of having extra first-place votes (45). Thibodeau’s margin of victory was the smallest for the award since the present voting system was instituted throughout the 2002-Three season, in line with the N.B.A. Williams helped lead a turnaround in Phoenix, guiding the Suns, who had not made the playoffs since 2010, to the second seed in the Western Conference and right into a second-round playoff sequence towards Denver.
Third place, with 161 factors, went to Utah Jazz Coach Quin Snyder, whose crew had the finest report in the N.B.A. Members of the information media vote for the award, however reporters for The New York Times don’t take part.
Under Thibodeau, the Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13. But as soon as the Knicks obtained there, they misplaced to the Atlanta Hawks in 5 video games and appeared overmatched.
Still, this season was an sudden success for the franchise. Thibodeau turned the Knicks into one of the finest defensive groups in the league and one which was typically aggressive on a nightly foundation, a stark distinction from most of the Knicks groups of the 21st century. Thibodeau additionally helped develop ahead Julius Randle into an All-Star for the first time in his profession, and final week, Randle received the league’s Most Improved Player Award.