Josh Hart defies fans for not voting for Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau as Coach of the Year finalist

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Even though the Knicks ended this past regular season with a 50-32 record and clinched the Eastern Conference’s second seed, their coach Tom Thibodeau did not make the Coach of the Year final list as the league announced them this past Sunday. 

His players don’t seem too happy about this, especially as New York is displaying a historic campaign so far and are proving their worth to fight all the way to the title. After beating the 76ers during Game 1 of the first-round series, Josh Hart sounded off against fans for not voting enough for the team’s head coach.

“50 wins, 2nd seed with an injured roster for half the season and not a Coach Of The Year candidate….” the guard posted on social media, questioning the decision by the voters. The finalist spots were taken by Thunder’s Mark Diagneault, Jamahl Mosley from Orlando and Wolves’ Chris Finch.

One of his most valid points, was the fact that the Knicks have accomplished these records after enduring many important injuries during the season, especially Julius Randle, who hasn’t played in months. One player who has returned for injury and is impacting New York’s game recently is Mitchell Robinson.

“I felt more energized. The crowd helped a lot. Home court, their energy helped us out a lot, so just went out there and played hard,” he said after dropping 8 points, earning 12 rebounds and blocking four shots in 30 minutes. “This is the playoffs. It’s a dogfight. You gotta go out there and just, you gotta fight for your life.”

Despite the player’s powerful offensive exhibition, Mitchell’s biggest impact came from the other side of the court, guarding rival Joel Embiid throughout many stages of the game. The reigning MVP still managed to make 29 points but felt limited in general.

“So the whole month of April, we looked at, ‘OK, he’s gotta work his way back,’” Thibodeau said of his center. “Obviously when you’re out as long as he’s been, he’s done a great job putting the work into it. In each game, you can see his timing is coming around. … To be able to battle and be physical, move his feet and just anchor the defense, the blocked shots, the offensive rebounding is huge.”

Philadelphia hope to clean up on glass to earn more rebounds in Game 2 vs. New York

The Manhattan club dominated the airwaves during Game 1 of the first-round series against Philly, and finished the match with an impressive 23 offensive rebounds. This led to the Knicks’ 26-8 advantage in second-chance points.

This is why the Sixers are convinced that they must improve on the glass when visit Madison Square Garden this Monday night for Game 2. “In a playoff game, that’s way too much,” Nicolas Batum said, making reference to their lack of offensive rebounds. “Win the game. We still had a chance to win the game. That’s the worst part it, we still had a chance.”

The 35-year-old acknowledged that they’re up against one of the best teams in the NBA, and seemed more in tune with the aggressiveness required to win a playoff match.

“We’ve got to control the rebounds, and we knew it. They’re maybe the best, no, the best, at that in the whole league. They played great, they play aggressive and they go chase every ball, and they did that last night, so we lost on that,” the veteran shared.