The New York Knicks have a legitimate shot at making a playoff push in 2021. Tom Thibodeau's team currently sits at the number six seed in the Eastern Conference standings with a 14-15 record; and one huge reason why they might make the 2021 playoffs this summer is due to a couple of key veteran pickups they've made earlier this season.
After re-signing big man Taj Gibson last month, and then trading for guard Derrick Rose last week, the Knicks have shown that they're serious about winning, by signing two players who know how to win. Oh, and they've done so while playing under coach Thibodeau while in Chicago.
For the former USC baller Gibson, he's appeared in seven games for the Knicks, and seems to be the new veteran rotational big. In February, the 6-foot-9 forward has averaged 14.8 minutes per game.
While Gibson's numbers won't blow you away, as he's averaging 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest, his energy and knowledge of the game is his biggest asset.
New York has a 5-2 record in games that Gibson has appeared in, including the current three-game win streak where the Knicks have won by at least double-digits in each game.
Gibson’s intensity on defense and understanding of how Thibodeau runs his offensive and defensive schemes give New York a reliable two-way big. This allows Thibodeau to give some longer breaks to players like Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson during the game; keeping these players fully energized for fourth quarter.
Another former Bulls player that started alongside Gibson during their time in Chicago was traded to the Knicks last week as well. New York acquired Bulls legend Derrick Rose to help fortify the bench.
The chemistry between Rose and Gibson coming off of the bench in Madison Square Garden will help NY’s reserves. Now Thibodeau will have players he knows and trusts coming off the bench as the Knicks try to make a push for the playoffs.
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