Tom Thibodeau unveils the Achilles’ heel that sank Knicks against Suns

On Sunday, Tom Thibodeau and his team had the opportunity to capitalize on the absence of the Phoenix Suns’ best asset, Kevin Durant, who visited the prestigious Madison Square Garden. However, the New York Knicks let that chance slip through their hands as they couldn’t stop the Suns from extending their winning streak.

The matchup didn’t just end in defeat for the Knicks; they were defeated using a well-known strategy that left Tom Thibodeau lamenting and calling out his players for letting the opportunity slip away.

Thibodeau reveals what ruined Knicks Devin Booker Suns game

Tom Thibodeau expressed dissatisfaction with the New York Knicks’ performance in Sunday’s 116-113 defeat against the Phoenix Suns. What stung even more for Thibodeau was the feeling that the Suns had outplayed the Knicks in their own style. “They beat us to the ball, and that’s usually a strength of ours,” Thibodeau commented in his post-game, as reported by The Athletic’s Fred Katz.

This reversal of roles proved costly for the Knicks, especially when facing one of the NBA’s top teams on their home court. The struggles for Thibodeau’s team stemmed from falling into an early deficit, expending considerable energy to mount a comeback, only to falter in the end. The Suns took control with a 10-2 lead, maintaining a double-digit advantage for much of the first half and entering the third quarter with a 64-56 lead.

Tom Thibodeau frowned at his players after  Suns' defeat, criticizing them for allowing the Suns to use their own tactics against themselves.

Thibodeau observed his team’s “low energy” as they exerted themselves to keep up with the Suns, despite the absence of Kevin Durant for the second consecutive game due to a sore foot. In the waning moments of the game, the Knicks’ defense forced Devin Booker to pass the ball.

However, Booker swiftly regained possession, sprinted toward his own bench, and sunk a decisive three-pointer with just 1.7 seconds left in the game, breaking a 113-all tie. While Booker showcased unselfish play throughout the game with 11 assists, when the critical moment arrived, everyone in MSG anticipated the ball would be in Booker’s hands. It appeared that Thibodeau’s Knicks lacked the burst to keep pace with Booker, and they paid the price for it.

Devin Booker fearlessly accepts double teams

Devin Booker isn’t scared of double teams. He proved it by sinking a three-pointer over a double team with a mere 1.7 seconds left in a thrilling showdown against the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Following this clutch performance, Devin Booker took to social media to share his sentiments, and his heroic display garnered high-fives from none other than 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant, who enthusiastically engaged with Suns fans at Madison Square Garden.

Tom Thibodeau frowned at his players after  Suns' defeat, criticizing them for allowing the Suns to use their own tactics against themselves.
Tom Thibodeau Via Getty

Devin Booker’s perspective on facing double teams has undergone a significant transformation over the past four years. Back in 2019, during his fifth year in the NBA, he seemed a bit hesitant when dealing with double teams. Fast forward to the present, Booker’s confidence and swagger have soared.

Currently boasting a career-high average of 29.6 points per game, he’s undeterred by opposing teams attempting to double-team him. The New York Knicks learned this lesson the hard way on Sunday as the three-time NBA All-Star concluded the game with an impressive 28 points and 11 assists.

Booker openly acknowledged the special allure of playing at Madison Square Garden, “When I’m here in the summer and I get the chance to drive by MSG, it just gives you a certain feeling.”

Despite missing key players Kevin Durant and Grayson Allen, Booker led the surging Suns to their seventh consecutive victory. Durant’s absence from the Knicks game, attributed to a sore right foot, didn’t hinder Booker’s motivation.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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