The New York Knicks' playoffs hopes flamed out in the second round at the hands of the Indiana Pacers, partly due to injuries that severely limited the team's rotation. Media and fans alike denounced Head Coach Tom Thibodeau for his strategy to give extended minutes and overworking key players, but Patrick Beverley struck back on the criticism hurled by former teammate Chandler Parsons.

Beverley, speaking on the Pat Bev Pod, talked back on a statement by Parsons, who said Thibodeau was responsible for the assorted injuries that ended the Knicks' playoffs contention. Players will encounter various factors that cause injuries, Beverley said. Further, the Milwaukee Bucks guard refuted Parsons by saying the causes for injuries range from poor preparation to an unforeseen mishap in games or practices.

“I don't think injury is based on the minutes you play,” Patrick Beverley said. “But that's how Thibs is. You play some minutes, you recover, maybe you don't practice as much. So you can't put injury on a coaching staff at all.”

“Different injuries are different. Some injuries are based on lack of training. Some injuries are based on…you fall bad, someone lands on you, a non-contact injury, you step wrong, you plant wrong, you spin wrong…soft tissue injuries that comes from summertime grind. To put [the blame for] injuries on coaching staffs…[and] on teams, I don't think that's fair.”

Tom Thibodeau carries reputation of wearing down players through extended minutes

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau carried a reputation from his previous stints with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves of running his players to the ground, which was the crux of Chandler Parsons' criticism of the coach. However, this seemed to have changed this season as Thibodeau dialed back on the intensity during practices this past season to allow players to recover better and be ready for gametime intensity.

Multiple key players for the Knicks fell to season-ending injuries, including Julius Randle, despite the adjusted strategy. Up to the tail end of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Pacers, injuries struck Josh Hart in Game 6 and to Jalen Brunson in Game 7 that doomed the Knicks.

Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson defends Thibodeau amid criticism

Both Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson swiftly defended Tom Thibodeau despite seeing the Knicks' playoffs stint end in the second round, saying the hard-nosed coach's philosophy allowed the team to be resilient throughout the season.

“I think Thibs has the same mindset we do as a team,” Brunson said. “Thibs is the reason why we have that mindset. Thibs is the reason why night in and night out, we fight to the best of our abilities, even though things may not be in our favor, result-wise. He makes sure that we have that mindset night in and night out.

“He’s been coach of the year, got this team to the playoffs, got this team to the second round, and you know, barring injuries, could have went further,” Hart said. “So I think you’re seeing the foundation that he’s built. We know getting to be a championship team is not flipping a switch and one season you just get there. We know you’ve got to continue to build, and that’s something that he’s done, something he built the foundation for, and it gives this city and this franchise hope moving forward.”