Something Needs to Change in New York. But What?

Mike D'Antoni is running out of answers

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.

Related: Carmelo Anthony Dealt. Are the Knicks Finally Ready to Contend?

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.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at I am now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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13 Responses to Something Needs to Change in New York. But What?

  1. dragonthorn says:

    Great post. I agree that something about the coach’s philosophy needs to change. The team has to be more accountable on D. Although I don’t know if firing D’Antoni is the right thing to do at this point. As much as I’d like the Knicks to pursue someone like Jerry Sloan or Rick Adelman, I’d like to see some continuity for the team moving forward. The team has been so unstable with all the roster changes (Douglas being the longest tenured Knick is just, LOL) that I don’t know if a new coach would be the right thing to get. Although I would love to have Sloan or Adelman as head coach don’t get me wrong.

    Maybe the path with the least resistance would be if the Knicks hire a defensive minded asst. coach, much like the work Thibs did for Boston.

    What I think will happen is, if the Knicks get swept by the Celtics, D’Antoni’s job could be in jeopardy given the quality of coaches that are available. If the Knicks do manage to win a couple of games before bowing out to the Celtics, then it’s safe to assume D’Antoni’s job is safe.

  2. D.B. says:

    Hit the nail on the head! The Knicks desperately need to make a change and that change needs to be on defence. I 100% agree that it starts with the coach and is something the New York head office will look at during the off season. However with such a short time to make something happen with the team I won’t be surprised if D’Antoni is still on the sidelines next season.

  3. tophatal says:


    By your own estimations do you believe that DAntoni is the best guy for the job coaching the Knicks ? From my own perspective I feel that he brings absolutely nothing at all to the table ! His teams have never played defense and they never will !

    Even next year I can’t see them as a contender because other teams within the conference will have made advancements not only in strategy but also in terms of personnel . Overall to me they’ll be taking a step backwards . Billups is no longer the player he once was !

    tophatal ……

  4. Completely agree. D’Antoni needs to do something, and fast. I still can’t believe the Knicks lost both Games 1 and 2. Their lack of defense is terrible, and giving up 113 points is not how you win basketball games, much less playoff basketball games.

  5. BobbyCharts says:

    Hey Chris. thanks for your thoughts and work. keep it up. New York has alot of stuff to work on this offseason.


  6. Care to exchange blogrolls?

    Hit me up at

  7. The problem with D’Antoni’s system is it requires a solid, fast-paced point guard. Billups is a half-court point guard, where D’Antoni needs a fast break point guard. You have a very valid point that D’Antoni is nothing without Nash, because D’Antoni is nothing without a fast point guard. D’Antoni lives by the adage “The best defense is a good offense”. When he was in Phoenix he never played defense that’s why he will never win a championship. The Mavs have been trying for years to win with an offensive minded team and we all know how that has gone. For D’Antoni to be successful he doesn’t need Melo alongside Stoudemire. He needs someone like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Russel Westbrook, or even Devin Harris who might be more obtainable. D’Antoni’s scheme is good for the regular season with the right players. However, when they hit the play-offs they can’t win with only offense, regardless of who they have.

  8. YourMVP says:

    Awesome post. I agree that D’antoni is doing a bad job with this team but it’s not because of his coaching. It’s because of his players. It’s like trying to fit a “D” battery into a “AA” slot. D’antoni has a strong, but slow offense and he works best when he has a run and gun offense.

    Granted, there’s no way to know if D’antoni was a great coach, or if Steve Nash just made him look like one. I don’t think his job should be in jeopardy just yet because I actually think he can get it done eventually. Like I said, he’s gonna have to tweak the offense to match the players that he has.

  9. kappy32 says:

    Calm down, dude. Did you really think they were going to advance past the C’s? I’m a big Knicks fan, but I knew this was it. It’s all about the future. We gave up our depth to get a star; now we need to replenish the depth. The time is not now, it’s 2013. Be patient and good things will come. This is a complete overreaction piece. If we never got Melo, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have made the playoffs. You need to give up something to get something & we gave up the 2010-2011 season. I’m proud of the team. Remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight.

    One last thing… If you’re going to advertise your blog on a top sight like, make sure you sit down with a dictionary & check your spelling. It’s “defense,” not “defence.” It’s a big pet-peev of mine because half-assed writers who can’t spell are the ones that give fellow blog writers a bad name. Last time I hit up this site.

  10. hammer41 says:

    Hey man, I agree with you 100 percent. If basketball had an offensive coordinator, D’Antoni would be great for that job. But he’s not a defensive coach and that’s what you need to win in the NBA. It holds true in everything that defense wins championships. Look at the Celtics, they play hard defense. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that the Celtics faced more highly contested shots in practice than against the Knicks. You won’t win without a defensive minded coach in this league, it just doesn’t happen.

  11. chappy81 says:

    I actually do believe that he teaches a little defense. Look at last years Suns, they played some solid defense in the second unit. The first unit was all about scoring, but that second unit, created some havoc. Anyways, I don’t see the Knicks as a team that really knew themselves before the playoffs. I’d give D’antoni a full season with this squad before I’d make too many judgments. Am I sold on D’antoni winning championships? No, but they should have a better showing next year.

  12. The Knicks could keep D’Antoni, but would have to surround him with a defensive minded assistant coach. The Knicks showed that they could play defense, but they never could show it the entire game. Will his system work? I don’t know, but since the Carmelo trade the Knicks changed their offensive strategies to fit both Amar’e and Carmelo. The Knicks will have to find role players that can be consistent on both ends of the court.

    This was an excellent post and I agree with you. Keep up the good work. I added you to my Blog Roll. Check it out at

  13. sam49 says:

    It’s hard for me to call out jobs unless somebody actually does something wrong (see: Jim Tressel) or they are incapable of doing it (see: Mike Singletary), but I will agree with you on this.

    Mike D’Antoni has one vision and it’s to create an exciting game for fans to watch on the court. There is no real defense and there never will be.

    I think D’Antoni could succeed at the college level with the right talent. A few years back North Carolina with Tyler Hansbrough that team had no defense and still got the title with ease. If he can get certain players he could thrive in that business in a few years.

    But playoffs with a series format and needing to make adjustments? This is way over D’Antoni’s head. It always has been, and he has shown no signs of changing.

    Thank you for the support on my blog as I try to revamp it and I have added you to the blog roll.

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