Something Needs to Change in New York. But What?
April 23, 2011 13 Comments
A dog getting castrated might not even compare to the pain that New York Knick fans had to go through on a much less than Good Friday.
Losing 113-96 in the first playoff game at Madison Square Garden since 2004 isn’t what was expected from a team that was a play or two away from taking a couple of games from the Celtics in Boston. There were a lot of problems for the Knicks on Friday. Carmelo couldn’t score, Amare wasn’t a hundred percent, Billups is out, and the bench still rivals the Heat’s for the worst among playoff teams.
Yeah, those are all problems but sadly there is one screaming problem, like the kid in a mall throwing a temper tantrum, demanding to be attended to.
It’s the defence. Not a revelation I know.
Something has to change and it has to come from off the court. The culture of the Knicks team has to change. It starts with the head coach.
I was never convinced that Mike D’Antoni was the right coach for the Knicks. Like his partner in crime Bryan Colangelo, it’s apparent that he’s nothing without Steve Nash. D’Antoni tried to remake the Knicks into a replicate of the Suns but it can’t be done. The Suns are Coca Cola and the Knicks are Diet Coke.
Even the original version couldn’t win an NBA championship. The old cliché lives on. Defence wins championships. Although, I’m still convinced that a break here or there would have given the Suns a real shot at a championship, but that’s a story for another day.
It is unclear whether or not D’Antoni tries to coach defence but it’s clear that the product put out on the floor needs some real direction.
The Knicks are still scoring at an incredibly high rate but it can’t compensate for the way they play on the defensive end. Especially in the playoffs.
Is there any way that D’Antoni can change his philosophy because there isn’t a miracle left on Earth that will let this Knick roster, coached the way it is, compete for an NBA title. Does Mike D’Antoni have another philosophy?
Granted, he has never had a real roster to work with prior to this year in New York. Still, he has shown nothing that would lead us to believe that any Knick fan should have anything more to believe in than false hope.
What’s worse is that Carmelo Anthony doesn’t fit into anything that Mike D’Antoni does. ‘Melo slows the game down, plays a lot of isolation and, well, I guess the defence fits right in. Expectedly, the Carmelo show hasn’t been as good as advertised, but it is still early. You won’t make a Knicks believer out of me but there are lots who do believe. I’m going to need to see it before I can believe it.
In my mind it all goes back to D’Antoni and the compass is pointing in a different direction.
The only way Mike D’Antoni should stick around is if he is willing to commit to a new vision. Defence needs to be a real priority in New York and I’m pretty sure that someone other than me will be saying that. Just a hunch though.
The Knicks franchise features an abundance of question marks but the most important one that needs to be answered is the path that Mike D’Antoni is taking them.
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