Steve Kerr Lauds Tom Thibodeau for ‘Great Move’ in Knicks Win Over Warriors

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau

Getty New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau shouts to his team during their game against the Golden State Warriors.

With OG Anunoby out with a flare-up on his surgically repaired elbow, New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau pulled out a gambit that caught the Golden State Warriors flat-footed.

“I thought Tom made a great move starting [Miles] McBride with OG out,” Kerr told reporters after the Knicks’ wire-to-wire 119-112 win at Chase Center on Monday, March 18. “Putting McBride in there spaced the floor and obviously, he got going and they had us really spread out early.”

McBride seized the opportunity and played out of his mind — locking up Stephen Curry on the defensive end and knocking down 3-pointers like he was Stephen Curry.

McBride’s tight defense on Curry rattled the Warriors, who were held scoreless for the first 3:53 of the game — their longest game-opening scoring drought in more than three years.

The Knicks raced to an 18-4 start and never looked back.

McBride’s solid defense fueled his confidence as he knocked down 6 3-pointers en route to 29 points, both career highs. He had 11 points in the first quarter and 19 by halftime.

“We wanted to add more shooting to the floor,” Thibodeau told reporters. “That’s really, you know, why we did it. When they sent the second defender (at Brunson) now we have another 3-point shooter out there. We thought that would make a difference.”

It turned out to be the game’s biggest difference.

Knicks Had Answer to Every Warriors Rally

But it was not smooth sailing all the way for the Knicks, who led by 15 points several times. The Warriors cut their lead to six, 62-56, at the break as Curry got loose for 13 of his 15 first-half points. He wound up with 27 on 8 of 20 shooting.

Golden State came as close within four points several times, the last one on Trayce Jackson-Davis’ dunk that made it 99-95 with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter. But the Knicks had an answer to every Warriors’ rally.

“It’s tough and their coach did a really good job of calling timeouts,” Jackson-Davis told reporters. “He used all of them every time we got a little bit of momentum.”

Bojan Bogdanovic and Josh Hart teamed up with Jalen Brunson to bring back the Knicks’ lead to double digits.

Hart earned his fifth career triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists while playing all 48 minutes. Brunson finished with 34 points to lead all scorers after his consecutive 40-point performances that earned him his third NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor.

Miles McBride Is an ‘NBA Player for a Reason’

McBride, a former second-round pick, finished what he started and hit a key 3-pointer that put the game away for good in the final 3:29 of the fourth quarter.

Curry and Klay Thompson‘s 3-pointers came late for Golden State as New York steadied at the free throw line to wrap up to 3-0 in their current four-game road trip.

“You don’t probably expect Miles McBride to to go 9 for 13 and have 29 [points], but he’s he’s a hell of a play,” Kerr said, before pumping the breaks on the Knicks backup guard. “He’s an NBA player for a reason and so he had a night and I thought they spread us out early with that starting
lineup. And with the pick and roll and then McBride got free a couple of times and that got him going.

So there are nights where you can try to do everything right but guys just get free. With that said, I thought we had a lot a lot of breakdowns.”



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