The New York Knicks recently dropped below .500 (6-7) after losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 145-135 shootout that saw 11 players across both teams score in double figures, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the way with 37 points. While the Knicks haven’t been dreadful to begin the year, they certainly must have expected to begin the year on a much better note, especially with the $104 million signing of Jalen Brunson, and if they continue on the path of mediocrity they’ve been on since the beginning of last year, major team changes might be afoot.
In particular, according to Ian Begley of SNY, head coach Tom Thibodeau could hear louder rumblings about his lack of job security in the coming weeks, especially if the Knicks continue to be a wildly inconsistent team, particularly defensively.
“I think [Tom Thibodeau’s] seat is warm. I think that, just my guess, if you get a few more games like this where the Knicks just aren’t competing enough on the defensive end and they look like they let go of the rope for too long stretches of the game on this West Coast trip here, I would expect there to be a significant change, whether it’s Tom Thibodeau or something else,” Begley said.
"If you have another few of those games on this trip where the Knicks just look terrible, I think there's going to be a big change made, whether it's Thibodeau or something else" https://t.co/9VKFOyvi2Y
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) November 14, 2022
Still, it has only been 13 games, and the Knicks have plenty of time to turn things around. However, the Knicks brass wants the team to be firmly in the playoff hunt, not slugging it out for the play-in spots, and the team’s results in recent weeks – a blowout loss against the Brooklyn Nets, blowing a huge lead against the Atlanta Hawks, allowing the Boston Celtics and the Thunder to shoot lights out from deep – does not bode well for Thibodeau’s long-term prospects.
“These are the kinds of losses that the Knicks franchise – Leon Rose, Tom Thibodeau era – where they are and what they’ve done to this point, they couldn’t afford to have too many of these kinds of losses, the kinds of losses where you’re just scratching your head about, ‘How did this happen? This is a result that shouldn’t happen,'” Begley added. “If you have another few of those games on this trip where the Knicks just look terrible, I think there’s going to be a big change made, whether it’s Thibodeau or something else.”
At the end of the day, Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett, who was benched in the Knicks’ loss to the Thunder, simply have to play better if Tom Thibodeau is to stick as the Knicks’ head coach.