Veteran big man Taj Gibson sees a resilient quality in this year’s Knicks, which he credits to the coaching change, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Gibson, who also played for Tom Thibideau in Chicago and Minnesota, believes the coach has brought a toughness to the organization that wasn’t there before.
New York nearly let a 21-point lead slip away Sunday night, but managed to hold on for a narrow win over the Timberwolves. At 15-16, the Knicks are seventh in the East and solidly in the playoff race with the All-Star break approaching.
“Our coaching staff has been drilling guys from the beginning of the summer up to this point,” Gibson said. “The preparation beginning at shootarounds has been outstanding. It’s always tough to play 48-minute games, but the way we all huddle around each other, everybody top to bottom, hangs out, works out late with each other. Everybody understands the stakes. And guys want to win.”
There’s more from New York:
- Frank Ntilikina is out of contact tracing, but the team isn’t planning to send him to the G League for playing time, Begley adds in the same piece. “I think we’ll take a look at it as we go,” Thibodeau said. “I like Frank being here. He’s done an excellent job; he’s got a great attitude, great approach. And even though he’s not playing, he’s adding a lot to our team right now.”
- The Knicks are “monitoring” Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who is rehabbing a broken foot, a source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. However, Jonathan Warner of NBC Sports Northwest says Portland has no plans to move McCollum and speculates it would take an offer of multiple first-round picks plus a core player to get the Blazers’ attention.
- Sunday marked the last game of the season with no fans in Madison Square Garden, notes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Under new regulations from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 2,000 spectators will be permitted at games starting Tuesday. “Even with the fake noises, it kind of sounds like the way it sounds when I watch it on TV,’’ Immanuel Quickley said. “It’s definitely a buzz even without fans. So I’m sure with fans, it’s going to be even more lively. So I’m excited to get the fans back in the building.’’