The New York Knicks continue to flutter this season. They’ve won three of their last 15 games and have slipped to the 12th spot in the Eastern Conference. They went from top four in the conference to bottom four at the drop of the hat.

They recently made a trip out to the west coast that left much to be desired. They went 1-4 during their five-game road trip. In that trip, they blew a 21-point second quarter lead against the Lakers, scored 18 fourth quarter points against a Rudy Gobert-less Jazz team, got their brakes beaten in by the Nuggets in which RJ Barrett was injured in garbage time, somehow defeated the Warriors and blew a 23-point third quarter lead against the Damian Lillard-less, rebuilding Trail Blazers.

Over those five games, they managed to have their “worst loss of the season” twice. Blowing a 21-point lead is unacceptable, no matter who the opponent is, however, blowing a 23-point third quarter lead against a team that is clearly rebuilding and without their star player takes the cake.

Following that up with a return to The World’s Most Famous Arena with a loss against the rebuilding Thunder makes a case for the third “worst loss of the season” in a matter of nine days.

The Knicks plus/minus is at -52 over their last six fourth quarters and overtime periods. They are getting outscored by 52 points late in the game over their last six games. 

All of these mishaps have one culprit: Head Coach Tom Thibodeau.

His inability to make adjustments are insanely alarming and his halfcourt offensive sets are predictable and laughable. Everyone knows that this offense, especially late in the fourth quarter, will be Julius Randle dribble dribble dribble dribble into a bad shot or a turnover or it will be Alec Burks dribble dribble dribble dribble into a bad shot. 

His rotations are a joke. Thibodeau still has the thought that this team is a playoff team, so he is playing the veterans extended minutes. However, the team continues to lose with the vets playing these minutes. That game plan is not working out. So, why not give more minutes to the kids?

Someone fans should feel bad for is Alec Burks. His role last season was perfect for him, coming off the bench at the small forward position and able to catch fire in a moment’s notice. Now, he is finding himself running the point guard position in late game situations. Thibodeau is asking a role player to play out of position in crunch time instead of giving one of his young guards an opportunity. Because of that, Burks’ productivity has dipped in a heartbeat.

Plus, in the loss against the Thunder, Thibodeau used his penultimate timeout to challenge an obvious foul by Evan Fournier. Predictably, the officials deemed the challenge unsuccessful. On the ensuing Knicks possession, after a miss by Randle, Robinson was clearly hacked on an offensive rebound. The officials swallowed their whistles. Terrence Mann then went coast to coast and was fouled by Grimes, which also seemed bang-bang. Thibodeau then called his final timeout to challenge, completely forgetting he had used his lone challenge a few moments ago. That from a head coach in the NBA is unacceptable.

Lastly, Thibodeau has had this reputation of a defensive head coach. The last time the Knicks held an opponent to less than 100 points was on January 31 against the Kings eight games ago. The lowest amount of points allowed since was 112 to the Trail Blazers. The Thunder, who are among the lowest in the league in points, dropped 127 points on the Knicks. 

It’s a shame. The rise and fall of Tom Thibodeau in a matter of two years is daunting. But, he has not changed. He once essentially said that he’s married to the game and that’s why he has no significant other, but he still has the toxic trait that led to his break up with Chicago and Minneapolis and it may be too late for him to change and it may end up with a break up with New York. Fans will surely not be shocked if Thibodeau does not return next season with some celebrating outside Madison Square Garden.

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