If you follow me on Twitter or read me closely on The Post, you know that one of my annoyances about Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is the way he posts beginners deep into the fourth quarter blast.
There are several reasons why this method sounds bad to me. It’s not simply about getting the bench some playing time; It’s about sportsmanship, minimizing injury risk, and minimizing the chance of pitting the other team.
Take last Friday in Orlando, for example. With the Knicks leading 24 and only 6:41 left in the match, Julius Randle was once again included in the lineup. Shortly after laughing in the lower zone after sticking in a three-pointer, Randle stole the ball on the other end, and dashed in looking forward to the magic once more. Wendell Carter Jr. of Orlando took the exception and severely obstructed Randle, making contact with Randle’s face. Randall hit the deck, got up, pushed Carter and drew a tech.
The rift didn’t escalate, but Thibodeau’s maneuver did indeed send an implicit message to the Magic and a more explicit message about his level of confidence in his seat, specifically about former lottery pick for beleaguered 2018 Kevin Knox, who is now considered a third series “Extension 4.”