Knicks vs Timberwolves: Tom Thibodeau gets his revenge in 103-99 win

Sunday night’s Knicks vs Timberwolves revenge match couldn’t have gone down any more perfect if you were Tom Thibodeau. In Thibodeau’s first game back against his former team, the Knicks took care of Minnesota 103-99 and his replacement was fired just minutes after the loss. Nobody ever wants to encourage revenge, but this one has to taste somewhat sweet, right?

Main Knicks vs Timberwolves headlines

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while RJ Barrett added 21 points in their final game with zero fan attendance. As of Tuesday, Madison Square Garden will be filled up to 10% capacity with about 2,000 fans. The win brought the Knicks one step closer to getting over .500. 

Taking care of business

When Thibodeau was the head coach in Minnesota, he guided the team to a rare postseason berth. He has a chance to do the same with a Knicks team that is leading the league in allowed points per game. Ryan Saunders was one of Thibodeau’s assistants and the son of former Minnesota beloved head coach Flip Saunders. When Thibodeau was fired, the team hired Sanders as interim head coach and allowed him to coach one more season. After falling to 7-24 on the season, Minnesota fired their second coach in three years. 

Knicks vs Timberwolves key: Stopping KAT

In just his 11th game of the season, Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 27 points and 15 rebounds. Towns helped lead the Timberwolves to a big fourth-quarter where the team outscored New York 28-16 in the final period. After a basket by Towns, the Timberwolves led 96-95 with 2:45 remaining in the game. However, the Knicks were able to hold on and give Minnesota their eighth loss in nine games. 

Moving guards around

Austin Rivers has fallen out of the rotation since the Knicks acquire Derrick Rose. Rivers was out of the game with an illness. In another move, the Knicks demoted Frank Ntilikina to the G League to get some more work. He has played in just four games this season due to injuries and health and safety protocols. 

Knicks vs Timberwolves game analysis & commentary

Rose and Taj Gibson, both former Bulls and Timberwolves for Coach Thibodeau, played 19 minutes each. After the game, Saunders called both players some of the best veteran players he has ever seen. Gibson finished with seven rebounds, while Rose contributed only four points on 1-of-8 shooting. 

Allowed Minnesota back in it

The Knicks are adamant that they are a playoff team but allowed a bad team to nearly upset them. Earlier in the day, the Celtics squandered a 20-point lead to the New Orleans Pelicans to drop to 15-15 on the season. With the win, the Knicks improved to 15-16 on the year. 

You can reread that if you would like but your New York Knicks have the same amount of wins as the team that made the Eastern Conference Finals last season. However, if the Knicks want to be a good team, they must continue to find ways to close out teams. 

Looking ahead

The Knicks will get to host fans for the first time on Tuesday as the team is at home against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are hopeful that Steph Curry will return to action after missing his last game against the Hornets.