Tom Thibodeau Reveals Message to Knicks Ahead of Critical Game 6

Tom Thibodeau

Getty Tom Thibodeau coaching during Game Five against the Indiana Pacers on May 14.

After taking a 3-2 series lead over the Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks are on the road for Game 6. With the potential to end the series, the stakes are high.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s message to the team echoed those sentiments.

“The defense, the rebounding, and low turnovers are key in any game,” Thibodeau told reporters on May 16. “But last game has nothing to do with this game. We have to understand that. And then we have to be ready to go on the road and play hard for 48 minutes.”

Thibodeau credited the Pacers, while also cautioning his Knicks team in getting caught up in any elimination narratives.

“We know how talented a team they are,” Thibodeau continued. “The important thing is not to get lost in all the hyperbole, distracted, and lock in to winning the game. Just focus on the task at hand, which is to win the game. Lock in, that’s the one thing that this team has done well. Put the necessary work that goes into winning into it, and don’t get lost. Just stay focused.”

Focus has been a strength for this New York team. They won Game 6 by 30 points after getting blown out by 32 in Game 5.

If it’s Indiana that wins Game 6, the Knicks will get an opportunity to win the potential Game 7 at home in Madison Square Garden.

Who is available for the team in blue and orange could determine any potential victory.

Thibodeau Updates Anunoby’s Status

OG Anunoby missed Game’s 3, 4, and 5 with a hamstring injury suffered in Game 2.

Thibodeau’s latest update didn’t shed much light on his status for Game 6.

“Doing a little bit more,” Thibodeau told reporters. “But basically, we’ll see where he is tomorrow…Just on the court, that’s it. Just light work, very light.”

Anunoby’s injury came in his best offensive performance in a Knicks uniform. He was up to 28 points before exiting Game 2.

ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski set Game 6 as the next benchmark in Anunoby’s recovery on an episode of NBA Countdown.

“The Knicks certainly, with this left hamstring, are going to err on the side of caution,” Wojnarowski told ESPN’s Malika Andrews on May 13. “There are two days off before a potential Game 6 on Friday. That would be the next possible benchmark for OG Anunoby.”

It seems that a return for Anunoby could come as quick as Game 6.

But based on Thibodeau’s comments, seems most likely for a potential Game 7. Or in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals, if New York can close out the series in six games.

History favors the Knicks.

Knicks’ Series Odds Up 3-2

According to Land of Basketball, teams who jumped to a 2-0 lead in the Conference Semifinals are 108-7 all-time.

The Phoenix Suns are the last team to blow a 2-0 lead in the second round, when they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in 2022.

And of 66 series to wind up 3-2 in five games, the team with the lead won 53 times historically. That’s 80.3-percent.

History is on New York’s side, even after they lost two of three to follow their 2-0 lead.

And even with Anunoby still sidelined.

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