NY Daily News: Coach Tom Thibodeau hoping new format gives Knicks a shot at playoffs

Not a whole lot of news, so this is what we’ve got. From Stefan Bondy:

Just based on the number of openings, the Knicks have a greater chance this season at competing for a playoff spot. And Tom Thibodeau hopes his club takes advantage of the new format.

The league has adopted the play-in structure for 2020-21, which means the Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference will hold a round-robin tournament after the season. One spot is guaranteed to either the No. 7 or 8 seeds, so it’s really a competition between three teams for the final playoff position.

“I think it makes it interesting,” Thibodeau said. “Obviously where we are, hopefully we’ll have a shot at that. It’s something that we have to work towards.”

The Knicks are again expected to fall into the lottery following a quiet free agency season, but finishing in the top-10 is certainly easier than the top-8. The format, which was first used over the summer in the Orlando bubble, is geared toward keeping more teams involved in the playoff race while dissuading tanking. Of course, the Knicks have been so bad lately that they haven’t finished in the Eastern Conference’s top-10 since 2014.

So it’ll require improvement from Thibodeau’s squad just to elevate into the play-in games.

“For us the important thing is to confront what the facts are. So we have a lot of ground to make up,” Thibodeau said. “We’ve got to work each day to close that gap. if we do that good things will come. There has to be the proper amount of patience, but sometimes too much patience isn’t a good thing. So we’ve got to move this thing along and everything has got to be about the team. Sacrifices have to be made. We have to figure out, develop our plan, and then we’ve got to work our plan.”

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