On Sunday afternoon, head coach Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks dropped to 9-7 on the young 2023-24 NBA season with a frustrating home loss to the Phoenix Suns, who were playing without star scorers both Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. The Knicks fell behind early in this one, trailing by 12 points after the first quarter, but found a way to work their way back in the game over the course of the contest; however, Phoenix ultimately emerged with a 119-116 road victory to push their own record to an impressive 11-6.
After the game, Tom Thibodeau got one hundred percent real about the Knicks' slow start to the game and why that put them behind the eight ball for the rest of the way.
“They beat us to the ball and that's usually a strength of ours,” said Thibodeau, per Fred Katz of The Athletic. “We got in a hole, used a lot of energy to come back and then couldn't finish it.”
Hustling for loose balls and doing other dirty work are indeed staples of the culture that Thibodeau has built at the helm in New York; however, none of those positive qualities were evident during Sunday's sluggish start. The loss followed up an epic victory over the Miami Heat for the Knicks, in which New York trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half but ultimately worked their way back for a thrilling victory.
Up next for New York is a home game against the Charlotte Hornets on November 28.