New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is known for playing his starters big minutes during the regular season, but Friday night the coach decided to play both of his stars RJ Barrett and Julius Randle over 34.5 minutes in a preseason game.
I am all for creating a winning mentality and a good team dynamic early in the season, but playing Julius Randle all the way to the buzzard in a meaningless game where the Washington Wizards were playing they’re second liners seems a little ridiculous to me.
Yes, the game winner was a nice play and it is great to get that victory, but at what cost and to prove what exactly? Here is the game winner from Randle who made a nice step back jumper for the win.
— Overtime (@overtime) October 16, 2021
Social media also took note of the situation and had their own thoughts about it all.
Boys… just look at who they are playing. Thibs got his closing line up out there while Washington has their second string guys 💀
— OG-Wan-Kenobi (@Gyro_22) October 16, 2021
Preseason games are the G League playoffs, let him have his moment 😂
— Lowry University (@LowryUniversity) October 16, 2021
Mickey Mouse game winner imo will never happen in the playoffs
— Larry Bird ➐ (@FRLarryLegend) October 16, 2021
That’s the ugliest game winner I’ve ever seen
— brandon knight burner (@sixinbucks) October 16, 2021
why is he even in the 4th in a preseason game
— AK⁶𓅓👻🎃 (@its_notak) October 16, 2021
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The Knicks are looking to build off their playoff appearance last year and made a couple decent acquisitions in the off-season. They signed guard Kemba Walker (who played less than 20 minutes) and Evan Fournier (who played 24 minutes).
The Knicks were rumored to make a big splash in free agency with all their open cap space, but it remains to see if Walker and Forunier were the missing pieces or if they will need to shell out and a make a bigger splash at the deadline to compete.
The Knicks open the 2021-2022 season at home against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, October 20th.