There’s a saying by Bill Parcells, the legendary former coach of the Giants: “What do you say in your notes?”
In addition to many variables during the pandemic season.
Conditions were perfect for Tom Tibodo’s Knicks in the regular season, but the talent level in the playoffs emerged during the playoffs, which felt normal with buildings higher than ever.
The Knicks Zoom press conference after Wednesday night’s game was very pleasant as they often met in the 41-31 season. It’s as if the Nicks have been knocked out in the decisive seventh game instead of five innings, accumulating 42 points in the last three games.
The truth is, the Nicks weren’t competitive. The Nicks didn’t have the same court-looking appearance as the Hawks, who set the same 41-31 record.
It’s an off-season concern that promises more wealth with a $ 60 million cap area and two first-round picks.
But the Hawks’ focus on three straight playoff games changes the lens and raises more questions about the validity of the 41-31.
Julius Rendl really “1a?” Is RJ Barrett close to being “1b”? What would 33-year-old Derrick Rose look like if he played more than 30 minutes a night and returned in the same role? Rose was burned as a toast in the last two playoffs, her knees rising.
For all the good talk about “building a foundation,” it was an astonishing fact on the way to frustrating them in the last 10 days.
The Nicks knocked on the door and Randle was unable to manage the playoffs, although it was his first attempt. Thibodeau has made no changes in his last three strike losses. He placed Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina firmly on the bench during each pass.
It’s reminiscent of a comment once made by a former agent like Warriors president Bob Myers and Knicks leader Leon Rose. Mayers is comfortable talking to the press, and Rose has been turning on the mute button since the Thibodeau press conference last July.
“Playoff games don’t look like a normal season,” Myers said. “They’re two completely different sports.”
Myers ’next remarks are even colder, given the depth of Randle’s playoff struggles, which he scored 29.8 percent (33.3 percent out of 3).
“What they know (the star) works well is gone,” Myers said. “Even the shooters. … In normal season, this two-foot gap is two inches. Watch how many players can’t hit in the playoffs and hit 42 percent (Randle’s percentage) in a regular season. It’s not the same thing. Why is this important? The more dimensions you need for your game, the harder it is to remove. You watch the playoffs, you know who can play basketball. That’s how you evaluate the players. “
The Nicks are hoping to extend Randle’s contract in August if he so desires. They may offer him a four-year term, but not for the maximum amount of money under CBA rules. The Nicks could offer a maximum of 120 percent of their $ 19.8 million salary in the final season of their current contract. That means it could start “only” at $ 23.8 million in 2022-23.
After Randle’s modest playoffs, he could lock himself in 2022 instead of trying an unlimited free agency and work hard to get to the maximum.
Knowing the depth of the players ’frustration, Thibaut never came out positive after the clinker of Game 5 at the end of the season. There are no longer motivational reefs about how they should be better. It’s all over and how many players are working in a free agency.
“Just build a foundation, create the right habits,” Thibodeau said. “Everything gets better, learns, grows, comes together. Falling, recovering. Coming back the next day, the attitude and approach was great from last summer to the end. I couldn’t ask the team anymore. “
Indeed, the Knicks thrilled their fans by playing with a fighting spirit in the regular season, but it wasn’t nearly enough in the playoffs. The list is not made for this. Thibaut squeezed blood from the stone throughout the season.
Jeff Van Gundy points out that his friend is a master at recording regular season wins, shooting the most shots without anyone spending the night.
His two best players, Randle and Barrett, were a total of 1-2 in the minutes they played in the NBA. Other NBA teams don’t work that way, but Thibodeau should have found the Knicks to be reliable for free agents this season.
Next season, the coach can practice faster walking. Perhaps Randl could experience managing multiple loads next season as he looked mentally and physically exhausted in Game 5 – just like Derrick Rose.
Not having the usual distractions in New York, the Knicks benefited from pandemic rules. There are no personal appearances, no media except for Zoom calls run by the club. In a season where the pressure wasn’t so high, they were mostly successful in empty spaces. When the buildings were filled, the Nicks began to work idle.
Before the playoffs, it was clear that they needed a starting guard. Portland could require Damian Lillard to trade or they could buy Lonzo Ball, Kyle Lowry or Dennis Schroeder as free agents.
But in the ruins of the Hawks ’five-game dominance, the Nicks may need a lot more, especially next season. Upon closer inspection, these 41-31 entries may seem more like a mirage than they really are.