The New York Knicks practiced on Thursday at their Tarrytown, NY, facilities, with no bad vibes nor bad news coming out of the venue.
Every player is healthy, everything went according to plan. Multiple members of the team spoke to the media. Meanwhile, the Cavs didn’t make Donovan Mitchell available after Cleveland’s practice inside an empty Garden...
Here is what Jalen Brunson and coach Tom Thibodeau shared with the media after hoisting some jump shots and devising some game plans.
Jalen Brunson on his first time playing postseason hoops at MSG,
“I’m very excited,” Brunson summarized Thursday.
Honestly, I don’t really need to make it more dramatic because let’s be honest for a minute here; we’re talking about Jalen Marquis Brunson, son of Eric Daniel Brunson and New Brunswick born and raised. “It’s going to be a great place to play. It’s always been the best place to play in the league. It’s going to be unreal. I just know that it’s going to be an electric atmosphere, for sure.” Yessir.
Jalen Brunson is looking forward to playing in his first playoff game at MSG:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 20, 2023
"It's always been the best place to play in the league. It's going to be an electric atmosphere." pic.twitter.com/oFpeivHEpZ
Asked about the new role he’s taken on upon his arrival in NYC, leading a franchise for the first time in his career, Brunson said that “what comes natural to him is that the people who he has around him, they keep him level-headed.”
Brunson told reporters his people “never get him too high nor too low,” revealing that “for the better part of my career, I’ve talked to a sports psychologist and he’s been a great help to me.” The point guard added that at the end of the day, “it’s just all about how you prepare yourself, and I try to prepare myself as best I can.”
Jalen Brunson knows that the Knicks' role players will bounce back as the series goes along:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 20, 2023
"Their confidence is always at an all-time high" pic.twitter.com/0TVgVAAaBj
Speaking about his teammates falling short of Cleveland’s effort on Game 2, Brunson said that he “is not necessarily worried about them at all,” adding that “it’s part of the game to miss shots.”
“Just gonna have to respond,” Brunson said. “The way that we hold each other accountable as a team, we know they’ll bounce back and we got their back.”
Tom Thibodeau on Game 2 and what he expects from Game 3
Coach Thibs made it look easy speaking after the Knicks' Game 2 defeat to Cleveland. “If they’re blitzing, if you’re in the open floor and the second defender comes, just pass. If you’re open, you have an angle, go to the basket. Attack,” Thibodeau said among other similarly well-laid-out strategies.
If only was it so easy... At least the coach will have a raucous crowd rooting for him and the rest of the team starting today and for the next two games.
"We didn't play as well as we would've liked in Game 2 as a team"— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 20, 2023
Tom Thibodeau on how he'd like to see the Knicks bounce back in Game 3: pic.twitter.com/SsmsmC48TT
“The thing is, it’s always an advantage to play at home if you’re giving them things to cheer about,” Thibodeau said after Thursday’s practice. “We know we have the best arena, best fans, best city. So go out there and play the best you can, do it together and play smart. If we do that we know our fans will respond to that. They always have.”
That said, though, Thibodeau isn’t a fool and knows the fans alone won’t automatically give the Knicks a 2-1 series lead. “If you’re relying on them to win the game... they can’t win the game for you,” Thibs warned his team.
Game 3. MSG. Tip-off at 8:30 ET. Don’t miss it.