New York Knicks: Three Players Who Should Thrive Under Tom Thibodeau

Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson had a great second season, averaging 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game off the bench while shooting a ridiculous 74% from the field. This ended up topping Wilt Chamberlain for the highest single-season field goal percentage mark in NBA history.

The 21-year old also improved on his fouling habits, averaging fewer fouls per game than his rookie year despite playing in 2.5 more minutes per game.

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Tom Thibodeau could be the one to unlock Mitchell Robinson’s potential to be one of the best centers in the league, and he already has proven results of doing so in the past. The most comparable example is Joakim Noah.

In the three seasons prior to the Bulls hiring Thibodeau, Noah averaged 7.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game. His career completely changed after Thibs was brought in as he racked up three All-Defense appearances while winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

Noah was a key starter on multiple playoff teams and Thibodeau put the 24-year old center in a position to succeed each year he was in the league. Despite not being a talented shooter or ball-handler, Noah even led the Bulls in assists with 5.4 per game during the 2013-14 season.

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Mitchell Robinson is still an extremely raw athlete with the potential to be one of the best defensive players in the league. Tom Thibodeau is more than qualified to get him there, and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see Robinson contending for Most-Improved Player honors next season.