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Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau named NBA Coach of the Year

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FILE PHOTO: February 7, 2021; New York, New York, United States; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau speaks with Julius Randle # 30 during the game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on February 7, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Mike Stobe / Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks was announced as the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year on Monday.

It’s the second such honor for Thibodeau, who was also named the league’s top coach during the 2010-11 season with the Chicago Bulls. He is the first coach to win the award in his first season with two separate franchises.

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams received two more votes for first place than Thibodeau (45-43) but lost 351-340 in total points. The 11-point margin was the smallest to separate first and second place since the point format began in 2002-03.

Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder finished third with 161 points and 10 first-place votes.

Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers got two first-place votes and ranked fourth with 24 points. Nate McMillan of the Atlanta Hawks (12 points), Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets (seven points) and Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets (five points) also appeared on the ballots.

The coaches earned five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote, and one point for each third-place vote.

Thibodeau led the Knicks to a 41-31 record, which they tied for fourth-best in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks reached the postseason for the first time since the 2012-13 season, but were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

The announcement made Thibodeau the third Knicks coach to win the award. He joined Red Holzman (1969-70) and Pat Riley (1992-93).


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