Tag:Mike D'Antoni
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:26 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:30 pm
 

Melo must change to be great

Will Carmelo Anthony's legacy be more than just that of a pure shooter? (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com writes Wednesday of how Carmelo Anthony has a chance to be special and thus far... simply hasn't. Doyel specifically outlines a fact debated and wrought over constantly when it comes to Anthony, the fact that he is primarily a scorer. In these here blog circles, it's a bit more narrow than that: Melo can best be described as a volume shooter. Scorer's can be efficient, sharp-shooting, bucket-filling maniacs who don't excel at much of anything else, but what they do, they do exceptionally well. Anthony, on the other hand, is going to shoot roughly the same amount from game to game. There are nights when he's going to be brutally efficient. There are nights when he's going to be brutally inefficient. The approach never changes. And that may be the biggest problem of all with Anthony's game.

Doyel talks about the threat of winding up like a pre-Boston Kevin Garnett, what with the high praise and no substantive playoff success outside of a single season. Two thoughts there:

  • The immediate response is to bring up Anthony's Nuggets' 2009 run to the Western Conference Finals. There are a number of things to note in that regard, however. First, the Nuggets' second-round win over the Mavericks was about as tough as a series that short can be, with a crucial non-call on an intentional foul late providing quite a bit of drama in the proceedings. Second, the West that year was paper thin. It was essentially the Lakers and that's it. This isn't to take away from that Denver team, but it needs to be noted. And third, that Denver team was the same as it was for years with Melo; their success was as much due to Anthony's brilliance as it was to George Karl's ability to coach around Anthony's talents. The two things worked side-by-side, they just didn't necessarily work together. It was like "The Nuggets do this, this, and this well, and also Carmelo Anthony is very good." 
  • Doyel mentions that Garnett did everything else in his time in Minnesota, "scored, rebounded, assisted, defended, hustled, led."
And it's that last part that seems particularly relevant as the Knicks continue to try and adjust to life with his nearly entirely new lineup from the start of the season (and without a major trade!). Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith, Melo, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. How does Anthony fit? We've talked about some x's and o's, but there are some other questions invovled.

For starters, most volume shooters are that because they are not good at any other particular area. Is Anthony that kind of player? Well, no. He's averaged 6.3 rebounds for his career, with a high of 7.3, very good for a small forward. Anthony can have games where he controls the defensive glass. What about passing? The 2009 Western Conference Finals run from Anthony's Nuggets featured him dishing 4.1 assists per game. He had a 19.8 percent assist rate that season (percentage of team assists), higher than any regular season for Anthony before... this one? We'll come back to that in a minute. And what about defense? There are metrics I could run at you, but let's just say this. 

The Nuggets' most successful season with Anthony, that 2009 run, came when Anthony became a lock down defender for about 30 games. He was simply phenomenal. That may be the most frustrating thing about Anthony, who is widely regarded as a turnstyle defensively. He can be an excellent defender. He can lock up guys, destroy their spacing, ruin their day. He just... doesn't. 

The key for Anthony may be honestly to get as far away from one of his biggest mentors' approaches as possible. Anthony and Kobe Bryant share a kinship in their approach to the game. But Bryant's success in essentially doing things his way 100 percent of the time is nearly impossible to duplicate. Maybe if Anthony had Phil Jackson, it would be easier. But he doesn't. And if he wants to be successful right now, moving away from an intractable approach and towards a dominance in versatility is the best thing for him. He needs to do everything.

There are signs Melo is trying. He worked off ball for much of the first-half against the Heat, making cuts to get to the rim. It was only after the Heat had buried the Knicks (and Lin) with their suffocating defense that Anthony returned to blistering the offensive flow with Isolation sets shallow in the shot clock. His assist rate, as previously mentioned, is the highest of his career at 22.7 percent, over four per game. He's clearly trying to get his teammates involved. He's eighth among small forwards playing 30 minutes or more this season in assist rate. With the kind of talent around him, is that enough? How much can we reasonably expect?

The answer's not in the empirical, it's in the perceptible. The shift needs to continue to be Anthony working to get out of his comfort zone. Bryant has remarked several times about hoping Anthony doesn't shift his approach due to the criticism. Thing is, that criticism isn't (always) unwarranted or about devaluing his elite gifts as a scorer. It's about fit, and flow, and making the Knicks the best they can be. Michael Jordan got to play the way he wanted because he was the greatest of all time. Kobe Bryant has been able to because he's the second greatest shooting guard of all time and he was granted a team specifically built to provide him with the best support possible. Anthony is trying to fit in with a team of good players, and he is not one of the greatest of all time.

Anthony can do something "special" as Doyel describes, but he's got to become versatile, he's got to take the same approach to the other parts of the game that he does to scoring. He's always going to get the ball late with a chance to win. He's always going to get a chance to rise and fire. But for it to matter he has to take on the rest of the things that make up a complete game. 

Anthony can be great, if he chooses to be. Making this Knicks team work isn't easy. When life is hard, you have to change.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:19 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 1:57 am
 

With Melo back in, fit with Lin questions begin.

Carmelo Anthony returned to the Linsanity but the Knicks lost to the Nets. Can they co-exist? (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

In a seasony as jam-packed with storylines as this one, you knew it had to happen like this. The Jeremy-Lin-lead Knicks played their first game with Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup after a five-game absence, with Amar'e Stoudemire, Melo, Baron Davis, and J.R. Smith all on the active roster, and of course, they lost. To the Nets. At home. Deron Williams, who was the player victimized when Linsanity started, made it his own personal mission in life to shut down, discourage, and otherwise outshine Lin on his way to 38 points and six assists. You can read more about Williams' vendetta from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. But of particular interest long-term for the Knicks, Ken Berger spoke with a scout at Madison Square Garden who had this to say about how Melo fits into Mike D'Antoni's system which has flourished with Lin running the show. 
Straight from a scout who has watched Anthony’s career extensively, here are the issues: Anthony and Stoudemire like to operate in the same area of the floor, and that’s something D’Antoni has to figure out regardless of who the point guard is. The way Lin has played for the first 11 games of this run, it will be easier for him to figure out than it was for any of the other point guards the Knicks have tried.

Here’s the other, and perhaps more important issue: Anthony likes to set up and call for the ball in an area that is between the low block and the 3-point line, a little wider than most mid-post isolation scorers want the ball. Anthony has been effective his entire career from that area, because he has so many options from there. But he also takes up a lot of space, thus killing the corner 3-pointer – so crucial to D’Antoni’s style – on that side of the floor, and also crowding out the pick-and-roll and wing penetration. One game is a little soon to call it a failure, though I’m sure that won’t stop it from happening.

“We are not in panic mode,” Lin said. Now, back to the real star of the show.
via Against Lin, D-Will restores sanity - CBSSports.com.

Here's what that scout's talking about, from Anthony's shot chart for 2-point jump-shots this season with New York, courtesy of Pro-Basketball-Reference.com




Melo was just 4-11 Monday night, and there were two big caveats to this performance. His first game back from injury and you know there is going to be rust. Second, the Knicks have so many players who weren't playing together a month ago, there's a huge challenge for them to figure out the offense. For reference, here's what Melo's night from the floor looked like. You can see even in a tiny sample size that extended elbow effect. 





So you can see what the scout was talking about.  If you want an idea of the impact on the corner three, again, in a tiny sample size, or at least an idea of the difference in success for the Knicks when they turn to the corner three versus other options, here's a look at Sunday's shot chart versus the Mavericks. check the corner threes: 


Now observe the chart and corner threes against the Nets: 


Clearly the Knicks didn't produce as many corner three attempts or makes. Whether that's a product of Anthony or not is a complicated question with an unclear answer. But the results in a win and loss and three-point production do lead you in a direction of concern, though not something that can't be resolved easily with more time together for this group of players. 

Maybe most interesting was twice when Melo's penetration lead to buckets for Lin, once on the perimeter and once on a catch-pump-and-drive. So there are signs that this can work between the two. Amar'e Stoudemire looked better in this game, more active and aggressive, though he wound up with as many points as shots for what feels like the 20th time this season (in reality it was his tenth of 27 games). 

If anything Anthony seemed to be trying to make a point by passing, forcing up six turnovers and trying to create for Lin and everyone. Anthony is a scorer, but if he shoots, he'll be criticized. As it stands, he passed, so it's difficult to criticize him for it. It'll take time to figure out where to start from, where to finish, and how to manage Lin as Lin learns to manage him. 

Maybe more concerning than the Knicks' offensive effort were the problems of the Knicks systemically and Lin individually to contain Deron Williams. Williams is an elite player, and it's too much to ask Lin as young as he is to be an elite defender, but that was certainly more to blame than the Knicks' offensive issues. 

New York is a work in progress. The problem is that it takes time to figure out all their new parts and how they figure together. 

As someone famous said, they don't have time.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:27 pm
 

How Stoudemire and Melo can fit with Lin

Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin can flourish if they trust in how their coach has succeeded in the past.
(Getty Images)


By Matt Moore 


When the Knicks take the floor in Toronto Tuesday night, there will be more media than Toronto will likely receive at any point this season. There will be multiple national writers in attendance, television crews, tabloid writers and bloggers flocking around a 23-year-old undrafted point guard out of Harvard named Jeremy Lin.

Perhaps you've heard of him.

Linsanity is still at its peak, where it will remain until Lin has a genuinely poor game and the Knicks lose. Both have to happen simultaneously. Lin's last performance against the Timberwolves was not great, but it was still productive if not efficient and more importantly the Knicks won. But whether it's tonight or later this week or later this month, eventually Lin will have a bad game and the Knicks will lose. The fever pitch will abate and the season will move on, as the media machine finds something else to freak out about.

But at that point, the Knicks will still have to try and make this thing work.

The biggest question on Tuesday night centers around not only will Lin keep up his phenomenal play, but will he be able to integrate Amar'e Stoudemire into the action. Stoudemire returns to the Knicks Tuesday for the first time since leaving last week following the death of his brother. Given Stoudemire's struggles not only from the floor this season, but in finding a role in the offense, there are high hopes (to put it mildly) that Lin's operation of the pick and roll will open up things for STAT.

And with good reason.

Lin's best work during this five-game winning streak that has seen his meteoric rise to instant stardom has been in the pick and roll, the area where Stoudemire does the most damage. Years of working with Steve Nash in Phoenix taught Amar'e the angle of attack on the roll and how to create space from the defender depending on his reaction to the screen. Stoudemire's not Blake Griffin, so don't expect Lob City, but Lin's ability to drop the bounce pass between defenders means Stoudemire should open up in the offense. For reference, Stoudemire in his last year in Phoenix had 17.7 percent of his touches in the pick and roll set. This year with the Knicks? Just 6.2 percent. Basically the Knicks have not put Stoudemire in one of his best offensive sets. That's largely because they have lacked a ball-handler to do so. Toney Douglas' decision making struggles in the open floor. He's more of an A-or-B binary option circuit. Pass standing or drive. Shoot or kick.

Lin, however, works much better in the pick and roll. His biggest strength is his patience and comfort off the screen, and his decision-making is key. He understand the timing of the set, or at least he has for the past five games. If the defense hedges on Lin and pulls back to defend the drive from Stoudemire, STAT can pick and pop, shred at the elbow unguarded. If this sounds familiar, that's because it is. This is the same dynamic that brought Stoudemire such success in Phoenix with Steve Nash. Jeremy Lin is not Steve Nash. But Mike D'Antoni is still Mike D'Antoni. And this can work.

Linsanity
So, what, then, of Melo? That's the million-dollar-question.

The debate rages about how to use Anthony effectively alongside Lin. Anthony, after-all, is a big fan of the Isolation set, the ball in his hands, able to navigate the floor and search out his own shot, at which he's an elite scorer. But that's not the most effective offense, as shown by the Knicks' early returns. Most of the talk from both pro and con sides have centered around vague generalities. "Melo will use Lin to create open shots" and "Melo can work on his own and with Lin." Melo himself said Monday all the things you want to hear as a Knicks fan, saying he would be giving Lin the ball and getting out of the way. But there's a specific role that D'Antoni's history leads us to with Melo. If Anthony wants to be the most successful he can be, he doesn't have to sacrifice shots or production. He just has to copy the Matrix.

In 2006-2007, Shawn Marion was playing alongside Amar'e Stoudemire in the final year of the team that came to be known as the Seven Seconds or Less Suns. The pace was what always brought up comments and the play of Steve Nash and Stoudemire brought the praise, but the real function behind the Suns was ball movement and careful shot selection. There's a reason Don Nelson's run-and-gun Warriors didn't touch the Suns' success, because the system relied upon deceptively quality shots. Marion was never really appreciated for his contribution alongside Nash and Stoudemire, and in fact needed years to shed a poor defensive reputation as a result of the system's reputation.

But Anthony is a much better offensive player and a much worse defensive player. So how does he fit?

In 2007, Marion took 13.4 shots per game. 27 percent of his possessions came from spot-up shots, according to Synergy Sports. 22 percent came in transition, and 17 percent came off the cut. In short, he filled in the gaps. Do you want Anthony, who spent 32 percent of his possessions in isolation plays before his injury, filling in the gaps? No, but the gap between Marion's 13.4 2007 field goal attempts and Marion's 18.8 2012 isn't huge. When Nash would split the defense and the third defender would rotate to challenge at the rim, there would be Marion, spot-up on the baseline or cutting to the rim.

Easy shots.

That baseline shot was particularly deadly, with Marion's quick flip release. He had his share of dunks off the attention drawn by the pick and roll as well. They weren't long, mid-range jumpers, they were replicable, makeable shots. 

When you put an elite scorer in a position to make easy shots, your efficiency goes up, which forces the defense to adjust to that, which opens up things for Lin and Stoudemire, which forces the defense... you get the idea.

Anthony can still work in isolation. A drive and kick from Lin means that the second and third defenders Melo has been seeing will be occupied. And Anthony one-on-one in the flow of an offense, in rhythm is deadly, nearly as deadly as him uncovered. There's a way to make Anthony not just good at what he does, but better. To put him in a position to attack the glass. To take the most shots on the team and still not stop the ball. It's complicated. It's tenuous. It relies on Lin being as good if not better than he's been in the offense.

Mike D'Antoni's system has a lot of flaws, draws a lot of criticism, but one thing it can do is create efficient scoring with a talented point guard. He hasn't had that in New York. For the last five games, he's found that in Jeremy Lin. It's an opportunity for Lin, for Melo, for Stoudemire to live up to the potential the Knicks were supposed to have. It may be their last chance to live up to the hype.

Oh, and Anthony should take a look at Marion's defense, too.
Posted on: February 5, 2012 4:56 pm
 

Report: D'Antoni not in danger of losing job, yet

Posted by Royce Young

The Knicks finally broke an ugly stretch where they had lost 11 of 13 by beating the Nets behind a surprise performance from Jeremy Lin. Still, the seat coach Mike D'Antoni is sitting on isn't warm or even hot. It's seat-belt-in-the-summer-time hot. I'm surprised he's even sitting in the thing during games and not just standing.

But he's not about to be fired as of now, according to Newsday:
A league source said D'Antoni isn't in danger of losing his job. If the losing continues, however, that could change.
D'Antoni has said he's not thinking about his job and while we all obviously know that's not true, the fact is, he can't worry much about it. He's got bigger issues to figure out and in his mind, things could be looking up soon. Baron Davis might finally be able to contribute something and then there's the chance J.R. Smith or even Aaron Brooks sign with the Knicks after they are released from the contracts in China.
"It doesn't do anything for me," D'Antoni told the paper. "If I do my job well, then things will be good. If we don't win, it will happen. I'm not worried one way or another, to be honest with you. I know, it's kind of, 'Yeah, right.' That's one good thing about being 60 years old. You don't have to worry too much."
But a 9-15 record and struggling for a playoff spot was not the plan for the Knicks this season. It's unfair to pin this on D'Antoni because he's not playing with a full deck as he's without a real point guard, but still, the fact New York has had so much issue scoring doesn't reflect well on him.

He has to feel somewhat better considering the win over the Nets plus two competitive losses against the Celtics and Bulls. That's losing two out of three, which isn't acceptable, but it appeared the Knicks were moving forward. Carmelo Anthony is getting healthier, they're scoring better and there's a bit better symmetry it appears.

Still, D'Antoni isn't going to make it through the season with the Knicks playing sub-.500 basketball. That roster isn't a finished product and a good portion of the team's failures aren't on him, but someone has to pay and it's pretty much always the head coach. All D'Antoni can do to stop it from happening is win. Otherwise, he's going to have third-degree burns on his backside soon.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:16 am
Edited on: January 22, 2012 12:21 am
 

Reports: Harrellson out 6 weeks (broken wrist)

Posted by Ben Golliver 

There will be no Jorts for the next month and a half.

The New York Daily News and ESPNNY.com report that New York Knicks rookie Josh Harrellson -- affectionately known as "Jorts" -- will miss the next six weeks after fracturing his right wrist, an injury that will require surgery.

Harrellson, 22, is a 6-foot-10 forward/center out of the University of Kentucky. A second round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, Harrellson is averaging 5.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game for New York.

His absence will leave Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni will one more hole to plug on a roster clearly lacking depth. Behind starters Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire, the only available big men are Jared Jeffries, Renaldo Balkman and the seldom used Jerome Jordan.

The Knicks dropped to 6-10 on the season after losing to the Denver Nuggets in overtime, 119-114, at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:37 pm
 

What's next for Kings after Westphal?



By Matt Moore


With the predictable, yet sooner-than-expected firing of Paul Westphal today, the Kings seem to be in disarray. But looking at the roster and the talent available, plus the job being in California (be it Sacramento or Anaheim), you have to consider it to be one of the more attractive positions likely to open this year. Yes, the franchise is in disarray from an ownership and organizational perspective, but this is the NBA. Those things magically fade to the background if you start winning with a talented roster, and the Kings have a talented roster.

So who's on the radar for the Kings? We're going to give you a few options the Kings might explore and how those options play out with the different coaches, but first you need to understand the complexities of the situation.

The Kings are not, publicly or reportedly, under any financial strain, beyond the losses which were poured over in lockout talks. But the Maloofs were hit hard by the economic recession, which helped fuel their desire for the move to Anaheim last year that was thrwarted by the NBA. One of the primay reasons many believed Westphal would not be fired this season was due to the salary that must be paid to him in addition to a new coach. That the Kings felt it was imperative to move on is a good sign for Kings fans, indicating that they're willing to pay out the rest of the deal to get started on a new chapter. Still, the price tag on many of the options below may be too high. The situation in Sacramento goes beyond "get the best coach available."

Keith Smart: In November of 2008, P.J. Carlesimo was fired from the Thunder after a 1-12 start. A young
assistant and former player Scott Brooks took over. Voila. OK, so Keith Smart is 47, and this is his third stint as interim head coach. But if Smart somehow manages to get through to this team (including yes, DeMarcus Cousins), that would be the best possible situation for all. Smart wouldn't cost a fortune and has continuity. Drawbacks? Well, he was part of the horrible start and he's failed to stick at the two previous interim spots. Smart drew mixed reviews in Golden State before the Warriors hired Mark Jackson. He's got his work cut out for him.

Larry Brown: Yahoo Sports already brought up this possibility, via an executive. Brown might be great for DeMarcus Cousins with his brutal, intense ways. It also might detonate. Brown has experience (there's the understatement of the year) and brings a high-value name to the project. But Brown is also renown for crushing the souls and dreams of young guards. Let's see. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette... yeah, this is like an execution line of hope under Brown. Brown's also 71, so he's not a long-term solution. He's also going to want more organizational control than GM Geoff Petrie is willing to surrender.

Don Nelson: Fast guards that don't play defense and a mercurial, angry forward? What could possibly go wrong here for Nelson? Nelson would likely want more control as well, and is no spring chicken either. But man would that team be fun to watch. This idea's already been floated by the Mercury News

Mike D'Antoni: See, it's a jump-to-conclusions mat! This one's out there, but it makes so much sense from a strategy standpoint. Say D'Antoni gets scapegoated (already happening) in New York because his front office listened to a former GM that wrecked their franchise and gave up the farm for a high-usage small forward who stuggles with anything except shooting out of ISO sets and rebounding. D'Antoni lands in Sacramento. Warmer weather. An explosive big man who's a bit of an enigma. Multiple players with liquid position skills. And a shoot-first undersized guard. Come on now. You want to watch this. Even a little. This has about zero percent chance of happening, but the idea was so good I couldn't resist listing it.

Phil Jackson: Haha, just kidding.

Mario Elie: Another Kings coach. Elie is popular with the players though, and has a longer history with the team. This is pretty unlikely given the team passing him over once, but if Smart is sent out at season's end after Westphal, Elie might be promoted.

Brian Shaw: The man many felt should have gotten the job in Los Angeles might want the chance to go after his old team. Shaw is a players' coach, which might be just what the Kings need. If he were to want to put the triangle in place, though, run as fast as humanly possible.

Quin Snyder: Snyder worked under the Spurs system in Austin as the Spurs' D-League coach, then as an assistant in Philadelphia under Doug Collins and this season as an assistant for Mike Brown and the Lakers. He's a development coach who can get through to players and has had nothing but good marks since his departure from Missouri. Plus Kings fans could get wigs of the hair, which is fun.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:30 am
 

Report: Salary cap will not drop for 2011

By Matt Moore

Back when this delightful lockout began, the words "hard cap" were still very much in play. The idea was that the owners were going to get everything they wanted, exactly as they wanted them, and that included a hard cap that would be substantially lower than the cap structure in the prior CBA. That had some pretty terrifying consequences for big-spender teams who might have seen forced cuts of superstars they'd worked hard to acquire, or an inability to build on the core they've built. The Knicks, for example, might have been stuck with the basics of last year's squad, unable to improve enough around the two stars to compete for a title. Luckily for them, the hard cap has been removed from the conversation, replaced with luxury tax discussions while the league continues to pound the union's BRI into oblivion. 

In fact, the cap structure won't change and will actually increase next season, according to the New York Post:  
According to multiple sources, one of the resolved issues in a new CBA is the 2011 salary cap will remain at the level as it was in 2010 -- $58 million.

“That’s what we’ve been discussing, though the exact dollar amount is not set until the new deal is done,’’ said one league source, who added no new talks have yet been scheduled.

Economic projections from sources say the salary cap will then grow to about $60-$61 million in 2012, when the Knicks will have the largest cap space in the league and have room to woo either Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Dwight Howard, who are slated to become free agents. The Knicks could be at least $20 million under the projected 2012 cap.
via Knicks owner Dolan works to keep NBA salary cap same size - NYPOST.com.

So the Knicks' dream of building their own superteam is alive and well, and their pursuit of the final piece of the puzzle begins this year (or may have already started depending on your take on the Isiah Thomas rumors). They'll have to make some tough choices, though, what with needing to build supporting pieces as well as nab one of the 2012 big three. It'll be interesting to see Dolan's response to the new luxury tax and just how much is too much for the MSG mogul. 

But for those that enjoy this era of super-teams, the cap will remain in place to make it a possibility.  
Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:23 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 5:24 pm
 

D'Antoni's fine with uncertain status with Knicks

Posted by Royce Young

Just because the Knicks hired Mike Woodson doesn't really mean anything. Yeah, it kind of has a look to it, that maybe the Knicks could be gearing up to have a quality interim coach for the remainder of the season if things go south with Mike D'Antoni.

It definitely has kind of an awkward appearance. But D'Antoni is completely fine with everything. Even his potentially "lame duck" status as head coach.

"I'm OK with that," D'Antoni told the New York Daily News. "All coaches are on a one-year deal. It's just whether you get a paid vacation. We have to produce. Every coach in the NBA has to produce. That's the way it is here."

An interesting note from the Daily News though: D'Antoni evidently isn't in the good graces of owner James Dolan so much anymore.
According to a team source, D'Antoni's relationship with Dolan isn't as close as it once was and the coach lost his closest ally when Donnie Walsh stepped down as team president in early June.
D'Antoni basically had his hand forced to alter his assistant coaching staff. He was pretty much instructed to hire a defensive coach and therefore, enter Mike Woodson.

Here's something that will help D'Antoni though: win. That's all you have to do. Start winning games, get to the postseason and play well there. D'Antoni's entering his third season at the helm of the Knicks and in terms of New York time, that's a long while. But he's really done a solid job. He had to recover from a massive trade that turned over almost half his roster and then figure out on the fly how to integrate Amar'e Stoudemire with Carmelo Anthony.

The sweep by the Celtics was ugly and definitely put more pressure on him, but give D'Antoni a little credit. It's been a rough situation. That roster isn't good enough to just win on it's own quite yet.

Doesn't matter though. It's high stakes stuff in New York and Dolan's not going to want to wait around. Maybe Woodson's there to just coach up the defense or maybe he's there as a mid-season replacement. Whatever the case, if the Knicks can get to winning a little, it won't matter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com