“You have to bring the energy and the commitment to win, so I thought our guys were great in terms of preparation,” said coach Tom Thibodeau. “We arrived late, or early this morning, and we were ready to go at the start of the game. … We built a lead in the third, struggled a bit in the fourth, but found a way to win. you have to do to win, it’s hard to win on the road. “
The result also meant a lot to the Knicks and their long-suffering fans. With the win, the Knicks are now 37-28, ensuring they will have a winning season for the first time in nearly a decade. You have to go back to 2013, when Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith led them to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, to find the last time the Knicks finished over .500. Over the next seven seasons, they hit a 184-374 tally and haven’t made a single playoff appearance.
Speaking of the playoffs, they’re guaranteed a trip to the play-in tournament and come close to securing an automatic berth with a six seed. After Monday’s game list, they’re all alone in fourth place and have a three-game lead over the 7th-ranked Boston Celtics. There is still one game between the two teams, which will decide the series of the season, so the Knicks have some work to do.
Regardless of what happens from now on, it’s been an incredible turnaround for the Knicks, who had won just 38 games in the last two seasons combined. Even Thibodeau had to trade his gruff demeanor for a celebration after that win, and when you made him smile and hug the people on the pitch you know it’s okay.