NEW ORLEANS – Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundi said an unforeseen factor in the Knicks’ appearance this season was what he called an “additional training camp” at the end of the summer so that new coach Tom Thibodeau could enter his system.
Although it appeared before the free agency and the project in late September / early October, Knicks and so-called. “Delete 8” organized nearly two weeks of organized team activities. Van Gundi said the Knicks detained most of the players involved in the OTA.
Van Gundi, who, like his brother Jeff, is a friend of Thibodeau, said the 2019-20-20 Knicks season was marred by David Fizdale’s early shootings, destroying continuity.
“Tom got that little extra training camp in the summer with the balloon to start putting things on to get a little more time,” Van Gundi said. “So they stayed to do the same thing all year. It really helps, boys, when players play the same system all year round. Continuity is a useful thing, and Tom is a great coach, and they were able to learn the system and play the system from summer to training camp during the season. “
As a new coach, Van Gundi did not have that time because Pelicans was in the Orlando bubble with former coach Alvin Gentry. Van Gundi clarified that it is fair for the “Delete 8” teams to have these OTAs, as their seasons have been shortened.
Thibodeau said that OTAs are more useful for building a “relationship” between the new coaching staff, the front office and the players than anything else.
The Knicks are 29-27, and Van Gundi said they “play as well as any team in the East.” “Like his brother’s troops when Thibodeau was his assistant.
“I’m not really surprised,” Van Gundi said. “I do not know why everyone is surprised. If you look at the East, their talent certainly coincides with the middle of the East. I don’t look at the team and I say they don’t have anyone. Their talent is quite good compared to the middle of the pack in the East. I’m not quite sure why everyone is surprised, but whatever. “
Julius Randall continued to dominate with 32 points, making five 3-points. Van Gundi said he went from “a great goal scorer to a great all-around, one of the best strikers in the league.”
“It was his five three that hurt us,” he said. “The difference in the game is shooting with 3 points. Our 3 point shooting was not good enough. “
Nerlens Noel was late to scratch his ankle, forcing Norvel Pelle to make a back-up call in the middle. He performed well, blocking a shot by Zion Williamson and scoring his first two baskets in 14 minutes.
Thibodeau said he was not worried about the tournament, which was recently attacked by Dallas owner Mark Kuban. Seeds 7-10 must organize a mini tournament to qualify for the playoffs.
“There are many benefits to this,” Thibodeau said. “It simply came to our notice then. We have to let him play first and then evaluate him. Many teams participating in important matches are good for the league. “
The Knicks will face the Mavericks and Kristaps Porzingis next trip in two games on Friday.