Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Knicks don’t have much time to develop chemistry before their regular season opener later this month. Training camp, which opened Tuesday, will be brief as the NBA has made extensive changes to its 2020-’21 schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the league to play this past season’s finals in October, historically the domain of Major League Baseball’s postseason.

The Knicks will play four preseason games in preparation, two against the Detroit Pistons in Detroit on Dec. 11 and 13, and two at Madison Square Garden versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 16 and 18. New head coach Tom Thibodeau is charged with establishing a collective mindset and attitude among the players that will translate into building the foundation of a winning culture. New Knicks president Leon Rose is tasked with providing Thibodeau the tools with which to work.

“I had input with Leon,” said Thibodeau, speaking with the media on Tuesday in regard to his collaboration with Rose in constructing the Knicks’ roster. The new additions include rookie forward Obi Toppin, who the Knicks drafted with the No. 8 pick in the first round last month. The signing of free-agent guard Alec Burks. The acquisition of guard Austin Rivers in a sign and trade deal with the Houston Rockets, and the signings of free-agent center Nerlens Noel and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

They will join a primary group composed of forward Julius Randle, guard Elfrid Payton, who the Knicks re-signed to a one-year deal, second-year guard R.J. Barrett, forward/center Mitchell Robinson, forward Kevin Knox and guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntlikina. It’s a roster that on paper lacks playoff potential but is expected to compete with high intensity every night under the hard-driving Thibodeau, who is in his third head coaching job having previously led the Chicago Bulls (2010-2015) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (2016-2019).

The 62-year-old New Britain, Connecticut, native was also a longtime Knicks assistant, having made the Garden his basketball home from 1996-2004. He was on the staff of former head coach Jeff Van Gundy the last time the Knicks played in the NBA Finals, losing 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs in 1999.

The Knicks are building from the ground up. They are two seasons removed from having the worst record in the league, 17-65 in 2019, and have not made the playoffs in the past seven seasons.

“You want to set a level of expectation for training camp of how we want to operate throughout the course of the season,” said Thibodeau, “and the challenge for us will be how quickly we can all get on the same page.

“…The one thing about New York fans, they’re knowledgeable about the game. If they see a team that is out there working as hard as they can, working smart, and playing together, that will be recognized.”