“The Ultimate Adjustment” – Udonis Haslem in Awe of Knicks’ Coach’s Brilliant Gameplan to Take Playoffs Lead

Published 05/15/2024, 11:43 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Udonis Haslem loved the Game 5 encounter between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers. The 3x NBA Champion on SportsCenter said, “I loved it Donte DiVincenzo getting a little chippy and just bodies banging and guys just being aggressive. Just playoff basketball it’s a lot of alpha male stuff out there.” Apart from the in-game aggressive playstyle, the 20-year veteran was also impressed by the Knicks’ coach.

Haslem joined SportsCenter on ESPN to react to the New York Knicks’ Game 5 win over the Indiana Pacers. The former Miami Heat legend appreciated Jalen Brunson, Miles McBride, and Josh Hart but also gave a shout-out to the coach Tom Thibodeau.

I mean shout out to Tibs (Thibodeau) for making the ultimate adjustment of going with ‘Deuce’ McBride in the starting lineup. I think you’re not able to load up as much on Brunson when you have shooters in the lineup also dusting off Alec Burks.” Miles McBride scored 17 points meanwhile Burks contributed 18 points from the bench.


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Not overloading with shooters meant more space for Brunson to dominate. “Those guys were able to spread the floor and give him(Brunson) as much spacing as he needed to be ultra-aggressive. Either on the pick-and-roll or just in the open floor attacking his matchup. And one-on-one nobody can guard him he showed that through the playoffs,” Haslem said on SportsCenter.

After losing the 4th game with a 32-point margin, Thibodeau and Co. made a stunning comeback in the famous Madison Square Garden. Winning the game by 30 points and making it the first 30-point win in the playoffs since 1992. Udonis Haslem was also appreciative of the defensive setup by Thibodeau.


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Udonis Haslem on Thibodeau’s defensive masterclass

Apart from making space for Brunson to attack and rule the court, guarding the Pacers’ forward was also important. “…also putting Josh Hart on Siakam where he can hold him down as well. So great um decisions made and it’s a chess match and Tibs won this round so get ready for the next one.

Thibodeau wouldn’t toot his own horn after the 5th game-convincing victory. He said to the media after the game that it was a great competition and, “That’s what you love about the playoff.” But he was mindful of the next game, and it won’t be as easy as this game. 


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Speaking about the game 4 loss, he said it was obviously very disappointing, the way they played in Indiana. The only chance to overcome such adversity is to perform well in the next game. They had to fix some things but “I felt we were in mud in that game“, while speaking to the media post-game 5.

Do you agree with Udonis Haslem’s analysis of coach Tom Thibodeau?


Written by:

Pranav Kotai


One take at a time

Pranav Kotai is an NBA beat writer at EssentiallySports. With a master's in sports management and a lifelong passion for basketball, Pranav has an indepth understanding of the sport like no other. Pranav is an open encyclopedia of all storylines, with a well-rounded approach to his writing, especially for his favorites like NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph