Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks was named the 2020-21 NBA coach of the year, and Twitter shared their thoughts on the decision.
Last year, the New York Knicks were looking for another man to lead the team on the sidelines following the firing of David Fizdale. The Knicks opted to sign former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau to be the man to bring the Knicks back to relevance. All Thibodeau needed was one year, and he was rewarded for his hard work.
On Monday, Thibodeau was named the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year by the media after leading the Knicks to a 41-31 record and their first playoff berth since 2013. This is also Thibodeau’s second time winning this award, as he did so back in 2011 when coaching the Bulls.
NBA Twitter shared their thoughts on Thibodeau earning more votes than finalists Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns and Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz.
Knicks: Tom Thibodeau named 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year
The race for Coach of the Year came down to the wire between Thibodeau and Williams. Even though the Suns head coach received more first-place votes (45) than Thibodeau (43), the Knicks coach received 42 second place votes to Williams’ 32 to win 351-340. Williams did receive Coach of the Year as voted by the National Basketball Coaches Association.
Thibodeau is now the first Knicks coach to win this distinguished honor since Pat Riley did so following the 1992-93 season.
Upon his hiring, Thibodeau took over a team that lacked huge names like other squads in the Eastern Conference, but he molded the roster into his image. The Knicks thrived on defense under Thibodeau, as they allowed an average of 104.7 points per game while also limiting opponents to a 44.0 field goal percentage and 33.7 three point percentage, all of which were league-bests, per ESPN.
New York clinched the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference and home court advantage, but were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in five games.
Despite the end result, no one believed that the Knicks would clinch a playoff spot, well alone finish above .500. Credit can be given to Thibodeau, as he looks to improve upon this already impressive season next year.