Tag:Phil Jackson
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:31 pm

Mike D'Antoni.......Your time is up in NY

Another loss, another loss to a bad team at home, another pathetic offensive performance, and more excuses. This has been the storyline for the Knicks early on this season. A season in which they had championship aspirations coming in. I have been very patient with the Knicks thus far this year and I am never one to call for a coach to get fired. However, enough is enough already! Mike D'Antoni is just not getting the job done right now. The worst part of it is that the Knicks are failing at what is supposed to be Mike D'Antoni's strength, OFFENSE! For years the Knicks have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league, yet, this year they have improved drastically on the defensive end and now they are struggling on offense? If someone would have told me that the Knicks would allow nearly 10 less points per game to their opponents, I would think they would have won the majority of their games and are being considered title contenders. This has obviously not been the case as the team has now dropped to an unimpressive 6-8 record. The main reason for this is clearly the offense. The Knicks offense right now is just terrible (and that is an understatement). I have seen better offense run at local gyms in pickup games. There is no flow, no movement, and way too much isolation. Carmelo Anthony (as talented as he is as a scorer) does not play well within the flow of an offense. He is a total ball stopper and he needs to be held accountable by coaches because that style and lack of discipline on the court will not get the team very far. Carmelo takes every single one of his teammates out of the flow on offense. This is becoming a huge problem that needs to be addressed.

So how do the Knicks address this problem? Well, I could take the high road and preach patience especially when Baron Davis is on the verge of joining the lineup which should certainly help. The only problem with doing that is the fact that this season is only 66 games. Time is of the essence for the team. The pressure is on Mike D'Antoni to get this team playing up to their ability. Sure the team lacks depth and the personnel is not characteristic of a D'Antoni led team. But there is enough talent on the Knicks to play better than they are playing right now. They are wasting good defensive efforts every game because of their inability to score. Any team with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire should not struggle to score. That is just unacceptable. It seems like their inefficiencies on the court are not even addressed which makes me wonder what they are focusing on when they watch film and practice. They are not moving the ball enough, not getting any dribble penetration from their guards to help create high percentage shots, and are allowing Carmelo Anthony to isolate whenever he wants. The coach needs to stress more discipline and make Carmelo buy into the system instead of trying to change it. Easier said than done as the team has far more invested in Carmelo than they do Mike D'Antoni, which brings up the question: Is D'Antoni the right coach to lead this team?

As an avid Knicks fan and one who watches all of their games without missing a play. I think that answer is no. Again, I hate to call for a coach to get fired and I also do not believe it is ever a good move to do that mid-season but it is the right move for the Knicks right now. His system clearly does not cater to the personnel that he currently has and he doesn't seem to have the answer right now. The team definitely has talent and needs a coach that preaches discipline and can implement an offense that focuses more on halfcourt sets. Who might that be? Jerry Sloan sure fits that bill, bring Jeff Van Gundy back, convince Phil Jackson to come out of retirement, or maybe allow Mike Woodson to take over and give him the rest of the season to audition and allow the Knicks to make a long term decision on a coach after this season. I don't see Mike D'Antoni turning this season around for the Knicks and I cannot be the only person who feels that way. I know many of you may think that I am just a typical Knicks fan who turns on them when things are not going well but the proof is in the pudding. A coach can only be given so much slack. The team is clearly not playing well and I have yet to see the coach make a positive adjustment from one game to the next. They continue to approach each game with the same plan and are continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again. Something needs to be done to give this team a spark. Maybe getting rid of the coach will light a fire under all of the players. It could possibly inspire them to play better. The bottom line is that if the Knicks do not see Mike D'Antoni as the right coach for this team, then they have little to lose by letting him go now as he is in the last season of his contract. The Knicks need to make a statement, and that statement is that this type of play is unacceptable and everyone should be held accountable. In this case Mike D'Antoni is going to have to be the one who is held accountable.
Posted on: January 6, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 4:16 pm

NBA Headlines 2 Weeks Into The Season

Nearly 2 weeks into this 66 game NBA season so much has already happened. With just a short part of the season underway, what headlines have been the most notable? Well here are a few things that have grabbed my attention thus far:

1) Being a New York Knicks fan, their slow start (2-4 record) has been very noticeable for me. I know this team probably needed a full training more than any other team. They acquired Carmelo Anthony at the trade deadline last year and Tyson Chandler this offseason and have not had any preparation time to build any chemistry or flow on either end of the floor. With that being said, they have also had to deal with injuries early on this season (Amare Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Jared Jeffries, Mike Bibby and ofcourse Baron Davis) which has also contributed to their slow start. They were supposed to be better on defense this year with the addition of Chandler but have only showed it in spurts thus far. I think there is still a ton of room for improvement on the Knicks and the 2 most important things that will lead to improvement are (1) Consistent effort on defense by the whole team but especially Carmelo and Amare, as the leaders of this team, they need to lead by example (2) the health and production of Baron Davis, I believe Baron still has a lot of game in him and he addresses a lot of the problems that the team is currently suffering through. Another thing to pay attention to with the Knicks is the job status of Mike D'Antoni. I think D'Antoni will not last through the season if the Knicks do not improve drastically and even if he does he is in the last year of his deal and the guy who hired him, Donnie Walsh, is no longer in charge. Questions about "retired coach" Phil Jackson will surely arise. Doesn't it seem like going back to the Knicks (was a player for the Knicks and on their last championship team in 1972) and having success there, is the only thing missing from the Zenmaster's illustrious career. I think the Knicks will turn it around and make a nice run...........or at least I hope so.

2) The Minnesota Timberwolves have become one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. Ricky Rubio has been great thus far for the team and the city. Kevin Love is looking like an all-star again. JJ Barea has produced nicely and the team is just filled with so much young talent. This team has the same vibe that the OKC Thunder had a couple years back. I don't expect them to make the playoffs this year but they are on the cusp of being a very good team for years to come. One thing to keep an eye on for the T'Wolves is Michael Beasley. I think Beasley is very talented but from what I have seen this year, he just doesn't seem to fit in. He still seems to be a bit selfish on the floor and I just think he becomes expendable if Derrick Williams continues to play well. I am curious to see if they try and trade him for another veteran player to help this team grow. Regardless, I think the future is looking bright in Minnesota.

3)  "The Injury Bug" has hit several teams this year already. Stephen Curry injuring his ankle 3 times in 5 games has to be concerning for Warriors fans out there. I had to make a note of that. It seems like he rolls his ankle every time he plays. You would hate to see a player that young have chronic ankle problems. Hopefully that is not the case and he takes some time to allow himself to heal before getting back on the court too fast. Zach Randolph, who was one of the main reasons for the Grizzlies success last year, is out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury. That could seriously damper the hopes of Memphis buliding on last year's success especially in a shortened season. Manu Ginobili is out at least 6 weeks with a broken hand, this is devastating to the Spurs as he is the primary scorer and playmaker on this aging roster. It will be interesting to see how they fare while he is out. Kobe Bryant seems to be doing fine with his wrist injury thus far hopefully he can make it through the season because without him the Lakers will sink.

4) The World Champion Dallas Mavericks have had a rough start to their season (3-5 record) and have taken a beating in some of those losses. I think many of us expected them to decline a bit after losing Caron Butler, Tyson Chandler, DeShawn Stevenson and JJ Barea this offseason but I don't think anyone expected it to be this bad. Sure, they will improve once Lamar Odom and Vince Carter become more comfortable with the team, but I have to say they look old and don't look like a team that will be a real threat this year. The good news is they have a great coach in Rick Carlisle and he will do his best to right the ship.

5)  The Miami Heat so far have looked dominant and unbeatable this year. They are playing at an extremely high level to start the season and have addressed may of the problems that they faced last year. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade have silenced the critics with their lack of three point attempts this year and are doing all of their damage closer to the basket. I think many other teams are wishing the critics would have kept their mouths shut and let them stay on the perimeter because those two may be the best finishers in the league right now and are starting to work really well together. I think they are more relaxed and are playing so good on both ends of the floor. Right now they are definitely the team to beat. One area they could improve on is working on beating those zone defense schemes. (That was hard for me to say considering I am a Heat hater, but I have to say the truth)

6) Sacramento Kings fired head coach Paul Westphal after only 7 games and after his clashing with DeMarcus Cousins. This was a little surprising and it seems like the Kings' owners chose to back their players over their coach on this one. My thought on that is Cousins and Tyreke Evans better be as good as the Kings expect them to be because they just got their coach booted.

These are just a few notable observations early in the season and I look forward to sharing more throughout the year. Overall, it has been an exciting start to the season and I can't wait to see what will happen next............
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com