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NBA Vet Rips Tom Thibodeau for Knicks Lineup



Tom Thibodeau’s minute clinic continues to be called into question as the New York Knicks’ season reaches a dangerous precipice.

Former NBA veteran Chandler Parsons is the latest to enter the fray, claiming that Thibodeau’s propensity to heavily rely on his primary men has put the Knicks in a depleted state at the worst possible time. The Knicks have lost four players from their rotation as they continue to engage in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers, a knotted series that continues on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET, TNT).

“Is it Thibs’ fault? This is why we were concerned initially, because when injuries do start to happen and things linger, now guys are missing games, and there’s just an obvious, glaring, huge minutes being played by them, it’s just hard not to look at that,” Parsons said. “This is why when that players’ poll came out, guys don’t want to play for him because it doesn’t last, you can’t sustain it, it’s a long season.”

Dec 16, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is defended by

Dec 16, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is defended by / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks went into this series knowing that they would be without Bojan Bogdanovic and three-time All-Star Julius Randle, each of whom is done for the season due to injury. The ongoing battle with the Pacers also saw them lose Mitchell Robinson for the year while OG Anunoby is set to miss his third straight game with no return in sight.

Already well-known for expecting heavy minutes from his starters, Thibodeau has been forced to double down on such a strategy in the wake of the ailments: Josh Hart, for example, has already played four complete games this postseason and ranks second among playoff participants in minutes per game (44.1). Jalen Brunson (40.8) and Anunoby (40) are tied for ninth and 11th on the same list respectively.

Parsons went as far as to say that the Boston Celtics, who won a 3-1 lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers in their own semifinal series, are pining for the Knicks due to their depleted state. He also believes that Thibodeau and Co. will be inspired to look for more bench help this offseason if this trend winds up ending the Knicks’ title run.

If anyone would understand the challenge of player management, it’s Parsons, the second-round pick of the Houston Rockets in the 2011 draft. While Parsons forged a solid career for himself, the final seasons of his career were defined by injury, as he never played more than 36 games in each of his last four tours.

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