Quickley, what’s a “Quickley”?
You bet the dudes are as focused on putting on a show tonight, and that’s precisely what they let us know on Tuesday when they put word to the microphones.
“Don’t get ahead,” coach Tom Thibodeau started his speech with. “If you start jumping ahead and saying, ‘Well, I’ll be ready when this happens, I’ll flip on the switch...’ No, you’re not flipping the switch.”
Raw Thibs, to the bone.
The Knicks are facing a hella strong opponent tonight. They are going against the favorite to lift the Larry O’B next June. They are fighting a six-man hydra thirst for blood. If only...
Thibs’ comment wasn’t about skipping this matchup (as in, ‘Hey, if we lose, we lose, we’ll get better!’) but rather about what is coming tonight and after this fateful Wednesday. New York faces one of the toughest schedules to start the year, so no breaks will be allowed for the Knicks early.
“It’s a long season and I want our focus to be on what we have to do each and every day,” Thibs kept on saying. “Don’t skip ahead.
“If we win, I don’t want us too excited about winning. If we lose, I just want us to focus on that daily improvement and what we have to do to be a successful team,” he finished.
Even though the Knicks banked on continuity and only added one player (Donte DiVincenzo) this summer while losing another one (Obi Toppin), Thibs doesn’t want them to get lost in that narrative and rest of their already-built laurels.
“I want us to establish a strategy of how we prepare for each and every opponent,” Thibodeau said. “When you look ahead of somebody or past somebody, you’re going to get beat. Everyone in this league is capable of beating you.”
Backup big Isaiah Hartenstain played his role to perfection, only backing up Thibs this time out by saying continuity “helps a lot” before acknowledging that the Knicks will have to take it “day by day,” and that doing that is “really going to help us, as corny as it may sound.”
Jalen Brunson touched on the same topic when asked about it. “We all come back better. We all come back wiser. We understand the task at hand and what we need to do,” Brunson said.
“It’s just getting better every single day,” Brunson added. ”We have resilient guys and a lot of tough-minded, hard-working, and great teammates. Resilient guys on this team. Couldn’t be more happy to go into games with this group.”
Same for Julius Randle, who thinks the team is in a great position as they will be able to “bring people back and pick up where we left off.” Added Randle: “(We) already have a great sense of how we want to play together and play off of each other, so we’re just gonna keep building off of it.”
Finally, RJ Barrett shared similar feelings in his usual uplifting way. “We’re a team, man,” the fifth-year player said. “Everybody is coming together for one goal.
“We know the expectations we have of ourselves and we kind of work to that standard every day,” Barrett finished.
On hand: beating the C’s to kick the season off with an immaculate 1-0 record, both on the year and at home.
No pressure, no diamonds. Go, New York, Go, New York, Go!