Tom Thibodeau has led the New York Knicks to their best season in over a decade. New York is 42-28 after Saturday's drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets, in lock step with the Orlando Magic for fourth-place in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks' standing is especially impressive considering their rash of injuries to marquee players. OG Anunoby is back on the shelf with elbow discomfort after briefly returning for three games following surgery. Julius Randle has been out since late January with a shoulder injury, while Mitchell Robinson last took the floor in early December, still recovering from surgery on his ankle.

New York will be a tough out in the playoffs no matter who's available and playing at less than 100 percent health. To make dreams of their deepest postseason run since the turn of the millennium become reality, though, the Knicks will need at least Anunoby and Randle to make a major impact under the playoff microscope, with Isaiah Hartenstein mitigating the effects of Robinson's potential absence.

But no matter how they fare in the playoffs, expect the core of this Knicks team to return in 2024-25—with Thibodeau re-entrenched as its leader on the bench. The veteran coach has one season left left on his current contract, but both he and New York will reportedly “revisit” the topic of a contract extension this summer.

“His current deal runs through the 2024-25 season, but league sources say he hopes to secure his future with the Knicks when both sides plan to revisit the topic this summer,” Sam Amick of The Athletic writes. “At this rate, the Knicks might wind up hoping they’d decided to get something done with Thibodeau before the recent explosion of coaching salaries.”

Donte DiVincenzo pushes back on outdated Tom Thibodeau narrative

Donte DiVincenzo and Tom Thibodeau

Thibodeau's brash, detail-obsessed, defense-first first approach has been a godsend for the Knicks, who struggled for any semblance of consistency before he took the coaching reins in 2020-21. Many doubted Thibodeau was the right man for the job upon his hiring, under the assumption his notoriously old-school tactics were a poor fit for the current generation of NBA players.

Don't tell that to Donte DiVincenzo. The veteran guard inked a four-year, $50 million deal with the Knicks in free agency last season, returning to his Northeast roots while once again teaming with Villanova brethren Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart. Geography and familiarity weren't the only reasons he decided to sign with New York, though. It's safe to say Thibodeau's presence played a role, too.

“I don’t care (about Thibodeau’s reputation),” DiVincenzo told The Athletic. “I don’t care. Guys in the NBA now (are different) than before. Everybody wants the game all offense. Nobody wants to come in and practice. But me, being my first year here, I think he’s done a great job of balancing things.

“From the outside world, there’s always (a different view). But in our house — in-house — we have a good dynamic and we enjoy it and everybody enjoys being around each other. To the outside world, you don’t really know. All you know is perception. All you know is the history from other teams (Thibodeau has coached) and his years with different organizations. But we’ve had plenty of rest days, plenty of off days.”

Clearly, Thibodeau's unique approach is paying off with the Knicks. Expect him to be compensated accordingly this summer, with New York effectively obligated to pay the 66-year-old a salary in line with Doc Rivers' $10 million annual payday from the Milwaukee Bucks.

And if the Knicks advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, let alone beyond? Don't be surprised if Thibodeau's new deal approaches even more lucrative contracts recently afforded to the Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra and Golden State Warriors' Steve Kerr.