New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson shoots past Orlando Magic...

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson shoots past Orlando Magic forward Caleb Houstan in the first half at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Knicks may not seem like a classic Tom Thibodeau-coached team, given their focus on pace and desire to fire up nearly 50 three-point attempts per night, but the coach believes that the group has the feel of his previous teams.

“Style of play oftentimes will change,” Thibodeau said Monday before the Knicks’ 115-102 victory over the Magic. “If you look at the ’80s, the ’90s, early 2000s, 2010s to where we are today, that can change. But what goes into winning is always the same. The hard work, discipline, unselfishness, the willingness to sacrifice and put the team first, those things are all the same.

“We have a really good young core of guys that are hard-working and determined, they have a toughness about them. They’re very enjoyable to be around, and I know those characteristics drive improvement, your ability to think on your feet, being gym rats.

“These guys have been here all summer, and the biggest thing about adding Jalen was just, once he started coming in and he did it immediately, then everybody started coming in. You can’t ask for anything more than that. It’s very contagious.”


Fast start

Brunson set a franchise record with 16 assists without a turnover to start the season, finally committing his first turnover in the first quarter Monday. Brunson, who bested the six-game mark set by Miles McBride last season, had 21 points, six assists and three turnovers on Monday.


Ready rookie

This marked the Knicks’ first time facing the No. 1 overall pick, Paolo Banchero, and he caught Thibodeau’s eye. Banchero has been productive, becoming the third overall No. 1 pick since 1969 with 25 points and at least five assists and five rebounds in his debut.

Banchero led the Magic (0-4) with 21 points Monday.

“I think he’s really gifted,” Thibodeau said. “He has a great feel for the game. For a rookie to come in and — I watched a lot of his games last year, he had tremendous poise, and he’s brought that into the NBA. He was NBA-ready coming in. He can shoot the ball, put it on the floor, you can put him in the post, he’s terrific in transition. And he’s strong. I think he can take a hit and finish. He knows how to create space.”


Grimes still sitting

Quentin Grimes sat out his second straight game with a sore left foot. “Basically following the protocol of what Anthony [Goenaga, the Knicks’ trainer] laid out for him,” Thibodeau said. “So it’s a step-by-step thing. One-on-[zero], one-on-one, two-on-two, trying to get him up to the point where he can do full practice.”