The New York Knicks were just eliminated by the Indiana Pacers in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. They put up a decent fight forcing a Game 7 but everything fell apart on Sunday. Especially after Jalen Brunson suffered a fractured hand late in the contest. However, Brunson is certainly not someone worth blaming for the playoff elimination. Instead, we'll take a look at two other factors.

Injuries plagued the Knicks in the postseason. Had they been healthy they potentially could have taken down the Pacers. But not having the regular starting lineup truly hurt New York. By the time Game 7 rolled around the roster was nearly depleted. They gave it their all but not having a star alongside Jalen Brunson may have been the difference-maker in this series.

On top of that, the coaching was a bit questionable. Tom Thibodeau is known for running his players into the ground and he did just that throughout this playoff series. The Knicks didn't have a great rotation going on and it could have worn down some of the key players on the team. With that said, here are two Knicks to blame for the playoff series loss to the Pacers.

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Knicks most to blame for playoff series loss to Pacers

Julius Randle

Julius Randle
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Look, I get it. Julius Randle suffered an injury back in January and ended up receiving season-ending surgery on his shoulder in April. So, the Knicks were without one of their star players for the back half of the regular season. Jalen Brunson carried the team to the postseason and even earned a No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. But not having Randle in the lineup was less than ideal for the Knicks.

It's a shame Randle couldn't suit up as he potentially could have been the difference-maker in this series. He put up solid numbers when he was healthy, finishing the regular season averaging 24.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. It's hard to put blame on Randle but the fact he was unavailable was a detrimental loss for New York.

Julius Randle is due to return at the beginning of next season. Hopefully, he can remain healthy next year and help the Knicks late in the playoffs, assuming they make it in 2025. But the Knicks might have to consider finding another power forward to assist Randle as he hasn't played well in the playoffs throughout most of his career.

Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau is certainly one to blame for the Knicks losing the playoff series to the Pacers. He's a good coach overall but he has some odd tendencies that may have prevented New York from reaching their full potential in the postseason. He's known for keeping the same guys on the floor often which leads to tired legs for the better players on the team. Thibodeau has always done that even when his rosters were stacked with great rotational players.

On top of that the Knicks never really had an answer for the Pacers star players. Tyrese Haliburton, Pascal Siakam, and Myles Turner all had great performances throughout this series. New York had no answers defensively which put a ton of pressure on Jalen Brunson to score at will. Tom Thibodeau didn't make too many changes to slow down Indiana.  For that reason, Thibodeau is one of the people most to blame for New York's playoff elimination.

As of now, it's hard to believe the Knicks move on from Tom Thibodeau. There aren't many coaches better than he is. So, maybe he'll make adjustments moving forward. But you also have to remember the old saying: “You can't teach an old dog new tricks.”