Knicks suck, what else is new?

Posted: November 13, 2010 in Knicks

I had somewhat high hopes heading into the NBA season regarding the New York Knicks.
Not so sure why, as they failed in their effort to sign LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and didn’t have the necessary pieces to land Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul in a trade. Still, they signed Amar’e Stoudemire and added interesting pieces like point guard Raymond Felton and young power forward Anthony Randolph.
Things started well in the first two weeks, as the Knicks got off to a 3-2 start and were competitive in losses to the Celtics and Blazers.
Boy, how things have soured in a hurry and I can point most of the blame in one direction – coach Mike D’Antoni. The Knicks have lost four in a row, including tonight’s embarassing 112-103 loss to a bad Minnesota team. Kevin Love scored 31 points and grabbed 31 rebounds. Yes, 31 rebounds, for the first 30-30 game since the 1980s, I believe. He had 10 fewer rebounds than the Knicks had as a team. New York actually led most of the way in this one, with the advantage ballooning to 21 points in the third quarter. But, as is the case with most D’Antoni squads, New York played Swiss Cheese defense and kept chucking up three after three to no avail. D’Antoni’s system, while entertaining at times, just won’t win in the NBA. Even when he had one of the best shooting point guards of all time in Steve Nash, D’Antoni’s Phoenix squads (much more talented than this Knicks unit) couldn’t get over the hump because they simply never played D consistently.
The Knicks throw possession after possession away with missed threes, costing them dearly in losses to the Sixers, Warriors and T-Wolves this week. All three of those games were winnable, but were flushed down the drain due to reckless offense and shoddy defense.
D’Antoni’s refusal to try something different boggles the mind. The Knicks rarely seem to run set plays and despite having a 7-foot-center in young Timofey Mozgov, rarely post up. The Knicks have enough offense and seem most effective when they are driving to the hoop and drawing fouls, as they have several good free-throw shooters. With the game slipping away against the Warriors the other night, the Knicks started driving through the porous Golden State D and had three or four three-point plays in a row. And after taking a two-point lead with less than two minutes to play, they suddenly reverted back to chucking up wild threes. Golden State took advantage of the stupidity and won the game.
Sure, there are times when the Knicks look like a good team. They shot an amazing 16 of 22 from 3-point land in a win at Chicago last week. They followed it up by hitting 8 of 17 the next game to blow out the Wizards. But when you live and die by the three and play no defense, possessions simply are thrown away. I miss the old days when the Knicks were hated around the league due to their hard-nosed (and let’s face it, dirty at times) defense. They made people work for points.
Knicks fans, as dedicated as any in the NBA, deserve better. They’ve been watching a crappy, overpriced product for too long. Time to get a real coach in here, one that actually adjusts his system to accentuate the strengths of his players. One who preaches defense, because that’s one thing you can bring to the table every night. You’re not always going to shoot well, but you can play hard-nosed defense and give yourself a chance to win, even on off nights. D’Antoni must go, the sooner the better.

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