NEW ORLEANS — Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy mentioned an unheralded issue within the Knicks’ emergence this season was having what he known as “an additional training camp’’ in late summer season for brand new coach Tom Thibodeau to get in his system.
Though it got here earlier than free company and the draft in late September/early October, the Knicks and the so-called “Delete 8’’ staged practically two weeks of organized group actions. Van Gundy mentioned the Knicks saved most of these gamers round who participated within the OTAs.
Van Gundy, who, like his brother, Jeff, is a pal of Thibodeau’s, mentioned the 2019-20 Knicks season was marred by David Fizdale’s early firing, wrecking continuity.
This Knicks marketing campaign couldn’t have gone any extra totally different from a stability standpoint and continued rolling together with their fourth straight victory, 116-106, over the Pelicans Wednesday.
“Tom acquired that little further training camp un the summer season with the bubble to begin placing issues collectively so he acquired a bit of extra time,’’ Van Gundy mentioned. “So they stayed doing the identical factor all 12 months. That precise helps, guys, when gamers in play the identical system all 12 months. Continuity is a useful factor and Tom’s an amazing coach they usually’ve been in a position to study the system and play the system from the summer season to training camp into the season.’’
As a brand new coach, Van Gundy didn’t have that point as a result of the Pelicans have been within the Orlando bubble with former coach Alvin Gentry. Van Gundy clarified that it was honest for the “Delete 8’’ groups to have these OTAs as a result of their seasons have been reduce brief.
Thibodeau mentioned the OTAs have been useful to construct “relationships’’ between the brand new teaching workers, entrance workplace and gamers greater than something.
The Knicks are 29-27, and Van Gundy mentioned they’re “taking part in pretty much as good as any group within the East.’’ He isn’t stunned on the document or that they’ve turn into “a throwback to the 1990s with low-scoring video games.’’ Similar to his brother’s squads when Thibodeau was his assistant.
“I’m not likely stunned,’’ Van Gundy mentioned. “I don’t know why everyone seems to be stunned. If you have a look at the East, their expertise actually matches up with the center of the East. I don’t have a look at the group and say acquired they’ve no one. Their expertise is fairly good actually in comparison with the center of the pack within the East. I’m not fairly positive why everyone seems to be stunned however no matter.’’
Julius Randle continued his dominance with 32 factors, making 5 3-pointers. Van Gundy mentioned he’s gone from a “nice scorer to an amazing all-around participant, the most effective forwards within the league.’’
“It was his 5 3s that damage us,’’ he mentioned. “The distinction within the recreation is 3-point capturing. Our 3-point capturing wasn’t adequate.’’
Nerlens Noel was a late scratch with a ankle sprain, forcing Norvel Pelle into backup responsibility at heart. He carried out nicely, blocking a Zion Williamson shot and scoring his first two baskets in 14 minutes.
Thibodeau mentioned he’s not troubled by the play-in match, which got here below assault just lately by Dallas proprietor Mark Cuban. The seeds from 7-10 must stage a mini tourney to qualify for the playoffs.
“There’s plenty of advantages to it,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. “It relies on what perspective you’re taking a look at it from. We must let it play out first and assess it then. Lots of groups being concerned in essential video games is sweet for the league.’’
The Knicks will face the Mavericks and Kristaps Porzingis subsequent on the two-game highway journey Friday.