Rockets, Nets, Knicks should stay away from Tom Thibodeau

The Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are reportedly curious about former head coach Tom Thibodeau. They in all probability shouldn’t be.

In accordance with Marc Berman of The New York Put up, the New York Knicks will get the primary crack at hiring former NBA head coach Tom Thibodeau, whereas the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets can even think about buying his companies.

If that report is true, all three groups are contemplating enjoying with hearth.

On the floor, a well-established, defensive-minded coach like Thibodea is smart for all three franchises. His .647 profession win share ranks 11th all-time amongst NBA head coaches with at the least 500 video games beneath their belts, he’s taken groups to the playoffs, and even in his final, ill-fated gig with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he helped them snap a 13-year playoff drought earlier than the Jimmy Butler cleaning soap opera tanked all the pieces.

For the Knicks, that form of confirmed monitor report and obvious stability can be good for a franchise that’s been missing in each classes for the higher a part of twenty years now. If the Knicks had been within the Three Little Pigs story, they might’ve been the fourth, unmentioned pig who received eaten first by the Massive Unhealthy Wolf after making an attempt to construct their home with doomed trades for over-the-hill level guards, poor drafting and empty free-agency goals.

Former Knicks coach David Fizdale and his interim alternative, Mike Miller, drew a ton of criticism this season for neglecting to supply the youthful, potential core gamers with ample minutes. The rotations had been nonsensical, and developmental tasks like Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and Allonzo Trier weren’t getting sufficient alternatives. Possibly they gained’t wind up turning into foundational items, however the Knicks weren’t even bothering to truly discover out.

With Thibs within the Massive Apple, Knicks followers wouldn’t have to fret about that anymore, however they would have to fret about Robinson and RJ Barrett collapsing into mud earlier than the age of 25, because the former Chicago Bulls coach is infamous for driving his key gamers — particularly the youthful ones — into the bottom. That method doesn’t fly on this period of load administration.

For the Nets, hiring an old-school coach with a standard offense can be a serious step backward from the trendy, Three-point heavy offense they ran beneath Kenny Atkinson. The best way that entire Atkinson state of affairs panned out was sketchy, however even when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving like and respect Thibodeau, that would change fairly rapidly when he begins enjoying them 40 minutes an evening as they’re each coming off important accidents.

Hiring a coach who’s been deep within the playoffs is smart for a squad with championship aspirations for subsequent season, however Durant turns 32 in September, and Irving, who simply turned 28 in March, has been injury-prone all through his profession. Not solely would the Nets be taking a step backward by way of tactical method, they’d be threatening to stunt their star-studded roster’s championship window by subjecting their two greatest gamers to circumstances simply begging for harm setbacks.

After which now we have the Rockets, whose inclusion on this potential checklist of suitors is so stylistically against Thibs’ ideas it borderlines on comical. If the Nets‘ Three-point assault can be taking a large step backward with a coach like Thibodeau, simply picture the migraine Daryl Morey would get from watching his staff run a standard offense after main the league’s Three-point revolution.

The Rockets averaged 44.Three Three-point makes an attempt per sport this season, essentially the most in NBA historical past, and have led the league in long-range makes an attempt in six of the final seven seasons, together with the final 4 straight. Hiring a coach whose groups have by no means ranked higher than 16th in Three-point makes an attempt per sport can be a hysterical overcorrection from Mike D’Antoni, even for a small-ball staff that would use extra of an emphasis on protection.

And don’t even get me began on what would occur to poor James Harden, who has ranked within the NBA’s high three for minutes per sport in three of the final six seasons and has solely dipped under 36 minutes an evening in a single season since 2012-13.

You may say Butler kamikaze-d the Wolves’ total operation, however the commonest Thibs complaints — not sufficient Three-point capturing, an old-school offense, heavy minutes for the core guys — endured there too, and even worse, the protection wasn’t nice both. Even along with his involvement with Workforce USA, he’s an old style, tough-nosed coach who’s unlikely to alter his methods, and none of those rosters has the identical defensive personnel he had in Chicago.

Possibly that’d fly for a Knicks franchise that wants something secure to construct upon, particularly if he may simply set up a reliable defensive construction, however Karl-Anthony Cities and Andrew Wiggins didn’t precisely flourish beneath his watch. Actually, KAT referred to his dealing with of Minnesota’s youthful gamers as “a disrespect and a slap within the face to their growth.”

Tom Thiboadeau was a terrific NBA coach with these Bulls groups, however the sport and the league have modified since then and it’d take a large reinvention on his half to begin becoming in once more. Do your due diligence in case you should, Knicks, Rockets and Nets, however on the finish of the day, it’d in all probability be greatest to look elsewhere in your subsequent head coach.

Subsequent: 5 issues we realized in Episodes 5-6 of The Final Dance

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