Tom Thibodeau didn't like what he saw from his New York Knicks team in Sunday's 116-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns. What was even more painful was that, according to Thibodeau, the Suns out-Knicks'd the Knicks.
“They beat us to the ball and that's usually a strength of ours,” Thibodeau lamented in post-game comments, according to The Athletic's Fred Katz. It soon became a battle just to stay competitive, dooming the Knicks at home against one of the NBA's best teams.
Thibodeau's team in struggled in large part because they “got in a hole, used a lot of energy to come back and then couldn't finish it.”
The Suns jumped out to a 10-2 lead and maintained a double-digit lead for much of the first half before entering the third quarter up 64-56. The Knicks pulled even towards the end of the third quarter, giving themselves a chance.
But due to his team being “low energy”, Thibodeau watched as the Knicks expended too much energy simply keeping pace with Devin Booker and the Suns, despite Kevin Durant missing his second straight game because of a sore foot.
With under 10 seconds remaining, the Knicks defense forced Booker to give up the rock. But he immediately got it back, racing towards his own bench and draining a three-pointer to break a 113-all tie with just 1.7 seconds left in the game.
Booker happily spread the ball around all game, ending his night with 11 assists. But when the game was on the line, everyone in Madison Square Garden knew Booker was going to end up with the ball in his hands.
Seems like Thibodeau's Knicks simply didn't have the burst to keep up with Booker, and they paid for it.