The New York Knicks held their official team practice of the 2020-21 season Sunday. Head coach Tom Thibodeau and a few choice players met virtually with the media afterward.
Thibs was asked about his new squad, and the first thing that came to mind was their youth and athleticism.
Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke with the media following the first practice at Training Camp.— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 6, 2020
Coach on what stood out today: pic.twitter.com/elFJifKQLv
Thibs isn’t traditionally known for playing a run-and-gun style of ball, so we’ll have to see how he plans to use that youth and athleticism.
When asked about Frank Ntilikina, Thibs offered some praise.
Thibs re: Frank Ntilikina today: “I like Frank...there’s things he does very, very well.”— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) December 6, 2020
Mentions that he has good size, brings defensive versatility, and works hard. Says he’s still getting to know him.
Size, defensive versatility, hard work — those have been hallmarks of Frank’s game since he was a rookie. Hopefully Frank has bolstered his passing and jump shot in order to really seize hold of a spot in the rotation.
Rookie Obi Toppin felt good in practice, and credited new assistant coach Kenny Payne for getting his conditioning in order.
Obi Toppin on his first pro practice: “It went great.” Says he was already conditioned from his work with Kenny Payne. Also says that the goal is for the players to improve every day, which he says happened.— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) December 6, 2020
Toppin also said he trusts Thibs to put him in the proper position to succeed.
Pretty much every Knicks fans made the same joke upon hearing this soundbite: “Uh oh, that probably means Toppin will start at the 3 alongside Julius Randle at the 4.” Hopefully that does not come to pass.
We end with RJ Barrett, saying pretty much the same thing Knicks players have been saying in training camp for the last two decades.
“We’re going to go out there and play hard. Be a tough defensive team and get out and run … just try to outwork our opponents.” — @RjBarrett6— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 6, 2020
For RJ’s full media session after practice: https://t.co/21D6xfTlfW pic.twitter.com/2z4hvrUPoq
This seems like a hardworking group, though — maybe it’ll be true this season! We can hope so, right?