OPINIONES SOBRE THIBS DE UN ENTRENADOR ACTUAL Y UN EXENTRENADOR DE LA LIGA (vía Begley):
"He's an elite defensive coach. There's no question. Those guys will be playing hard for him and, if they follow his scheme, they'll defend the pick-and-roll well. They'll take away drives and control the paint. His schemes are excellent, but as we saw in Minnesota, the schemes alone can't offset lack of effort from players or subpar defenders. I think RJ Barrett has the frame and athleticism to be a talented defender. Mitchell Robinson has a ton of upside on that end as a shot-blocker. Tom should be able to get the best out of those two and whoever else they put on the court."
The Knicks of the 1990s -- when Thibodeau was an assistant here -- were known for their intensity on defense. They've struggled on that end of the floor for most of the past 20 years. If improving on defense is a priority for the Knicks, Thibodeau has the credentials to make it happen. His Bulls teams ranked no lower than 11th in defensive efficiency.
What about the other end of the floor?
"On offense, the Knicks in general need to shoot more threes and open things up," the former coach said. "A lot of that depends on personnel, of course. I'd be curious to see who Tom brings in on his staff. Hiring someone who is creative on offense and has a modern view of the game seems like a key to me.
"If you have weaknesses, the person sitting next to you better do that job well."
The Knicks began last season with the league's fifth-youngest roster, based on the average age of players on the roster. The team has three selections within the first 38 picks in the 2020 Draft. So if Thibodeau is hired, he'll probably be tasked with helping many young Knicks reach their potential, particularly Barrett.
Thibodeau's Bulls teams had several player-development success stories (Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson as examples). So his track record is strong. But the head coach is only as good as his surrounding staff when it comes to player development, the veteran coach we spoke to said.
"He's got to hire the best people for player development. Target the top-five teachers of the game who are available and go after them," the coach said.
PLAYING TIME/PRACTICE TIME
One of the biggest criticisms of Thibodeau is that his approach to practices and playing time wear players out. Whether this is a valid criticism or not depends on who you ask and their perspective on the matter. In a series of recent interviews, Thibodeau has said that he learned a lot about practice approaches while visiting with teams over the past several months. If you listen to those interviews, you come away with the impression that Thibodeau may adjust his approach to practice in order to keep his players as fresh as possible over the course of the regular season and the playoffs.
Regardless of how he approaches playing time/practice time, several players have relayed that Thibodeau's work ethic as a coach is impressive. "He's always in the gym; first one in there all the time," one said. "He doesn't stop working."
That may not mean much to you, but it could have an impact on Thibodeau's players if he ends up coaching in New York.
APPROACH WITH PLAYERS
"That hard edge, it doesn't work now. In 2008, maybe it worked some of the time. In this generation, I'm positive that it doesn't work. In the NBA to be an elite coach, you've got to have an edge but you can't be crazy. To coach players and hold them accountable you have to find that balance. You don't compromise your authority, but this generation communicates differently."
One of the narratives around Thibodeau is that he is tough on his players. Again, whether that's accurate or not depends on who you talk to and their perspective on the matter. Thibodeau's approach, according to some reports, rubbed young players like Karl Towns the wrong way in Minnesota. Again, only Towns, Thibodeau and a few others know whether those reports are accurate. But the veteran NBA coach we spoke to said that a head coach's most important job in the league today is to "figure out how to coach your best player."
"Without babying him, you've got to spend time with him -- locker room, office, stands, outside of the work setting. (Clippers coach) Doc Rivers is a master at that," the coach said. "You've got to have a daily conversation. When your star is playing hard for you, everything else falls into place. Again, I'm not saying you have to be subservient or compromise yourself. But the way to connect to players today has changed. Be old school with your fundamentals, because those haven't changed, but be new-school as a communicator."