New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau appears to be a conspiracy theorist just like Nate McMillan, at least when it comes to Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young.
Thibodeau was asked Tuesday what he thought about Young getting to the line nine times in the fourth quarter in the Knicks’ Game 1 loss to the Hawks. The veteran head coach said he felt the referees changed up in the final period:
“I just want consistency,” Thibodeau said, via SNY.tv. “It seemed like it was different in the 4th, and you don’t want to see that.”
Young has had a knack of getting to the free throw line this year. In fact, he ranked third in free throws attempted and first in free throws made.
However, the Knicks kept Young off the line through the first three quarters. The All-Star guard did not make a single trip to the charity stripe until the fourth quarter.
Obviously, things changed quite a bit down the stretch. Young sunk all nine of his attempts in the fourth quarter, with the Hawks stealing the home court from the Knicks after he also buried a floater with less than a second remaining.
“Ice Trae” has drawn the ire of various persons with his ability to draw fouls, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Until the referees start swallowing their whistles, however, he is likely to keep seeking out the contact.
Thibodeau doesn’t necessarily seem to mind the free throws, but rather the apparent change in officiating style that occurred late in Game 1.
Hopefully, we won’t be talking about referees or foul-drawing antics by the time this series comes to a close.