Tag:Mike D'Antoni
Posted on: March 20, 2011 4:21 pm

Carmelo Anthony not fitting in with Knicks?

Is New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony having trouble fitting in with his new teammates? Posted by Ben Golliver. carmelo-anthony-nyk

This is what they mean when they talk about the media glare in New York. Carmelo Anthony has been a member of the New York Knicks for less than a month, but already there are questions about how well he's fitting in with his teammates and organization on and off the court. 

As we noted Saturday, Anthony played horribly on Friday night and then skipped out on reporters after the game, drawing some criticism in the process. His absence wasns't only confined to the post-game locker room, however. Multiple outlets, including the New York Post, noted that Anthony was withdrawn during Friday night's loss as well, standing off to the side during a timeout.

The Post writes that Anthony's behavior on Friday is indicative of a larger issue: he isn't doing enough to fit in.
Nevertheless Anthony's pouty behavior in Friday night's 99-95 loss to the Pistons, his bad oncourt body language, his failure to join a timeout huddle when not in the game has raised red flags about his readiness to handle the pressure for being a basketball star in New York. The honeymoon is officially over.
The feeling from the coaching staff, Stoudemire and other players is Anthony needs to change and adapt to the team and personnel around him rather than the opposite. Anthony must start ingratiating himself more to his new teammates who love D'Antoni's up-tempo style.
Certainly these feelings are not coming from nowhere. Throwing his coach's defense under the bus recently was a particularly bad look. That's going to rub a lot of people -- potentially D'Antoni himself -- the wrong way.

On Sunday, Anthony tried to extend an olive branch, praising D'Antoni's offense and asking for some time to make things work in comments posted on ESPNNY.com
 "[Coach] D'Antoni got a hell of an offense, I can tell you that. Everybody knows that around this league, everybody on the team knows that.
"It's a matter of me picking my spots in the offense and figuring them out in a timely fashion. What I told the guys is 'Let's be patient, man. This is not going to get together, this is not going to be 100 percent in two-and-a-half weeks. It'll just take some time.'"
D'Antoni, who recently suggested Knicks fans take some Prozac, continued to preach that same message of patience.
"I think everybody wants an ideal situation where it's all campfires and singing and all that, but it's just not going to be that way," D'Antoni said. "We have a lot of high stakes right now, and as you see there's people that want to getcha. Again, it's nothing bad, that's just the way it is.
While both Anthony and D'Antoni are playing this one by the book, it's clear from their comments that they both believe that there is still work that needs to be done to make this transition a successful one. Anthony is no coach-killer, not by a long shot, but he's been good enough for long enough to feel that his way is the right way. Same thing with D'Antoni. As the new guy, the onus is on Anthony to bend over backwards to make things work, but it's not clear whether that type of concession is in his DNA.

Something -- or someone -- is going to have to give here if the results are going to be better than they have been over the last month. But it's not clear who, if anyone, has the cachet to step in to forge a compromise and make the transition complete.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 2:17 pm

D'Antoni tells Knicks fans: 'Take some Prozac'

New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni tells fans of his team to settle down. Posted by Ben Golliver. mike-dantoni-sad

On Thursday, we noted that New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was confused by his team's defensive schemes and that the Knicks have been the league's worst defense since they traded for Anthony before the NBA trade deadline. 

As you might assume, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, who has never been known for his defenses, is preaching patience ... and prescription medication for fans that are caught up in the short term. His thoughts, as quoted by NorthJersey.com.
“It’s great. They care. Take some Prozac or something, hang in there. We’re hanging in there. We’re pedaling as fast as we can pedal. 
 “The biggest thing, and I’m going to keep repeating, is we’re not going to get caught up in the hysteria. We’re going to be who we are. We’re going to play as well as we can and get it together and hang together as a group and try to make the playoffs and try to do as good as we can.”
D'Antoni had some license to joke, as the Knicks had just stomped the Memphis Grizzlies, 120-99. 

There's no short-term panacea for the Knicks though. Defense will continue to be an issue until the offseason, at the earliest, when some defensive-minded reinforcements, hopefully including a center, can be called in to supplement the current group.
Posted on: March 17, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 3:00 pm

Carmelo Anthony confused by Knicks defense

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is confused by his team's defensive schemes. Posted by Ben Golliver. carmelo-anthony-nyk

The honeymoon period from the NBA trade deadline has worn off and the teams that made big moves are at the point where it's time to assess how their new look is playing out. For the New York Knicks, it hasn't been all positive, particularly because the team has struggled on defense, losing three straight games and giving up more than 100 points in their last five games.

New Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony points the finger at the coaching staff, saying the team's defensive schemes are too complicated and inconsistent, according to the New York Post.
In another sign of Carmelo Anthony's struggle to learn coach Mike D'Antoni's defensive system, the Knicks' new superstar said he hopes the coaching staff will simplify the X's and O's to make it easier for the new guys, saying it's been "confusing."
"[We have to] come up with a scheme or a couple of schemes we're going to stick with and do better at," Anthony said yesterday. "Right now, one game we come in with one scheme. Another game we come in with a different scheme. I think it's a bit confusing at times."

"We're all frustrated," D'Antoni said. "We have to get better defensively. We're going to be a good offensive team. It's the hurdle we have to get over. It's going to be the mark if we're going to be a good team or not. Our major concern is can we be good defensively, and we'll see. We're going to work at it."
In Anthony's defense, pure chaos can be confusing. Dysfunction can also be confusing. D'Antoni's have never been known to execute well defensively and Anthony has never been regarded as a great team defender, so that's a potentially volatile combination.

What's striking is exactly how bad things have gotten. Knickerblogger.net notes that the Knicks were the league's 24th best defense in the league prior to trading for Anthony. But since the trade, New York is dead last. That's no small drop off.

On the bright side, that means there's room for improvement!

As of Thursday night, the Knicks are 34-32, which is good for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia 76ers, though, have pulled into a statitstical tie with the Knicks with a record of 35-33.
Posted on: March 15, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2011 3:14 am

Dr. D'Antoni and Mr. Hyde: Inconsistent Knicks

The new-look Knicks have had supreme highs and desperate lows. So what's the story with the Knicks' inconsistency?
Posted by Matt Moore

There is no more valued word among NBA coaches than "consistency." Consistency is the mark of greatness, the key to success, the building block of progress, and the thing that is most elusive for teams during a season. Getting players to exert the same level of effort, focus, understanding, and execution across any stretch during 82 games is nearly impossible, made all the more difficult by injury, youth, chemistry, suspension, and ego. So how do you work to get consistency from a team? You practice, endeavor, train, bond, and most of all, try and bring in players that will provide that kind of effort and production night in and night out. The easiest way to do that is to have star players. Veterans who know how to execute, and can duplicate that performance at a high level on a Thursday night, nationally televised game against a Western Conference title contender and on a Tuesday night League-Pass-er against a lottery squad. Star players in the NBA are more than just players capable of incredible highlight reels and singular stats-stuffed box scores. They bring it each and every night. Superstars are how you make your team more consistent. 

So why are the new-look Knicks so inconsistent?

Since trading for Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are 6-6. The Nuggets are 8-2, but that's a whole other story. It would be one thing if the Knicks were beating middle-of-the-road teams and losing to elite squads, essentially playing to their potential and role this season. But that's not what's occurring. The Knicks have wins over playoff teams in New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, and a huge win over Miami. They have losses to Dallas and Orlando, understandable, since those teams are better overall than the Knicks. But they also have two mortifying losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers and one to the currently bottoming-out Pacers, who they face in a back-to-back rematch Tuesday night. (Update: The Knicks fell to the Pacers again, on a Danny Granger dagger to lose the back-to-back set.) In short, the Knicks are all over the place. 

The Knicks traded in a lot of assets that had been playing well together to get Carmelo, banking on the long-term and short-term payoff to outweigh the cost of sending four starters to Denver in return for one starter and a superstar. What's interesting is how the team has shifted since the trade. The Knicks had been averaging a 107.7 offensive efficiency and a 107.2 defensive efficiency before the trade. Offensively, they've improved as you would think they would, jumping to a 110.7 offensive efficiency. Defensively, however, they've also taken a hit, jumping to 108.7. Sounds about right. But the bigger issue is not the overall results, which are favorable, still. This team was never going to be a defensive ironmonger under D'Antoni. His system is geared to send potential rebounders springing for the break. That, plus the kind of light-footed bigs needed to make the system function results in a high number of offensive rebounds allowed, which provide more opportunities to score, and with most of the personnel geared for offense, that means they're often not defensively brilliant and the result is the team giving up a ton of points. But the team is still outscoring the other side on average. So what's the issue?

The issue is that they manage to pour it on against teams like the Heat who are defensively brilliant while holding the Triad to an 88.7 offensive efficiency. That's stunningly good. Then three games later they give up a 126 defensive efficiency to the Cavaliers, who couldn't hit water if LeBron James walked back in the door and personally towed them to water. They drop 107 points (118 offensive efficiency) on the Hornets, then turn around and produce just 93 (98.9 efficiency) against the Pacers. The Knicks are going up and down and there's no rhyme or reason to it. You can attribute part of the random nature of the results to Chauncey Billups' absence, but not enough. The Knicks are simply all over the place. Furthermore, the results aren't really tied to Melo's performance, either. 

Anthony scored just 14 on 6-18 shooting against the Hawks and they won easily. He pours in 29 on 10-16 shooting against the Cavaliers and they lose. There is one interesting corollary. In the 12 games Melo has been with the Knicks, they have never won when Anthony has posted a negative +/- mark, and never lost with a positive +/-. It seems obvious, but it does show that Anthony is in some way relevant to the Knicks' nightly performance. 

So how does D'Antoni solve this rollercoaster puzzle? In short, he can't. James Dolan (and Isiah Thomas) cut the roster he put together with Donnie Walsh off at the knees in order to screw on the robotic Melo cyborg suit he's got now. Chemistry doesn't just come together, it takes time. And consistency is an even further extension of that. D'Antoni's not going to all of a sudden be able to fix the problems the Knicks are having because the problems aren't obvious. They're complicated and intertwined in effort, hot and cold shooting nights, opponent matchups, and the ever elusive idea of chemistry and how players play and live together. That takes time, and work, in a situation where the Knicks have no time to work on such issues. Either these things will fix themselves naturally over the final month of the season, or you're just going to have to flip a coin as to which side of the Knicks we see in the first round. 

(Efficiency stats courtesy of HoopData .)
Posted on: February 20, 2011 3:10 pm

Knicks release statement for Melo damage control

Knicks release statement assuring they are in "constant communication" and that no outside individuals are involved in Carmelo Anthony trade talks. World raises eyebrow, says "Uh-huh."
Posted by Matt Moore

The New York Knicks released a statement Sunday affirming that they are all on the same page regarding the Carmelo Anthony discussions, are working together, and that no outside influence is involved in the ongoing talks. The release actually never specifically mentions who they're talking about, as is typical of this bizarre circus that has enveloped All-Star Weekend. From the release: 

“We want to make it abundantly clear that we have been in constant communication throughout this process and the three of us are in complete agreement with everything that we are currently working on. Together, we will do what is best for the long-term success of the franchise. In addition, we want to make it clear that no one from outside our organization has been involved in this process in any way. We will have no further comment at this time.”

The release comes hours after Ken Berger of CBSSports.com among others reported that Isiah Thomas has been brought back into the fold on the Melo negotiations, and has in fact undercut Donnie Walsh's attempts to maintain leverage in the negotiations. The phrase "amateur hour" was used by one source to Berger in regards to how Knicks owner James Dolan has taken Walsh's legs out as Thomas appears to have more and more influence in the conversations. This release will do nothing to stem that tide of opinion. Why?

Because who puts out a release to say it's not so?

The interesting cut of the release is the second to last line, stating "no one from outside the organization has been involved in this process in any way." The curious question there is exactly whether or not Thomas is "outside the organization." The league denied a request from the Knicks to allow Thomas to serve as an advisor while head coach of Florida International University. But Dolan has maintained that he has and will continue to seek counsel from Thomas as a trusted advisor. 

Dolan's continued reliance on arguably the worst executive in the history of professional sports management is boggling.  Even for an owner who hasn't shown himself to be the most patient, the most rational, the most deliberate owner out there, keeping Thomas after he nearly single-handedly brought the Garden to ruins is beyond comprehension.  There's no explaining it, not after it took Walsh nearly two and a half years to bring the Knicks back to a point where they could look to the playoffs again.  This is the kind of whim that can bring an organization back to rubble after just getting its foundation up, and that's evident by Berger's report that Walsh is reconsidering his long-term place with the Knicks should the pattern continue. 

Even if the situation is overstated and the release is on point, it's a damaging development. The Knicks have had to release a public statement to confirm that their president of basketball operations and head coach are still in charge of basketball decisions and that there's no rift. How are the Knicks going to maintain leverage in the fiercest trade negotiation we've ever seen if they're constantly having to cover their flank from talk of subversion by their former executive?

Forget Carmelo Anthony, forget revenue sharing, a change in BRI, 2012 free agency or any of that. What the Knicks organization really needs is a swift slap to the back of the head. 
Posted on: February 17, 2011 9:35 am
Edited on: February 17, 2011 9:36 am

Report: Nuggets want Knicks' farm for Melo

Report indicates Nuggets asked Knicks for four of top six players including Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Gallinari.
Posted by Matt Moore

Photo via Getty Images, illustration via Eye on Basketball. Laughs out loud via Masai Ujiri.

Basically, the next things Masai Ujiri's going to ask for are the fillings out of Donnie Walsh's teeth and Mike D'Antoni's mustache. That's pretty much all that's left for them to ask in exchange for Melo if a report out of New York Times is accurate. From the Times

According to a Knicks official, Denver wants Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari — four of their top six players — for Carmelo Anthony and an aging Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets have also asked about Timofey Mozgov.
via Knicks Making Progress. Will They Make a Deal? - NYTimes.com.

Oh, and the New York Post reports that first-rounder via the Timberwolves for Anthony Randolph is a requisite, too. Next on the list are "all the tea in China," "Fort Knox," "a pet Chupacabra" and "the top floor of the Empire State Building."  This is an absurd asking price, even as a starter, even for an All-Star starter. The Nuggets apparently think that Carmelo Anthony can play every position on the floor except point guard and power forward.  The Knicks would never surrender Gallinari and Fields in any scenario, not when one is a high-upside, high-percentage perimeter threat and the other is in the top five for Rookie of the Year. Raymond Felton is even a stretch, even if they were getting Chauncey Billups back in the deal. This isn't just too much. It's what happens when you ask for too much, then decide to throw in some extra wishes on top. 

This is pretty much the model of what Masai Ujiri has done in these negotiations. Ask for too much, from a position of weakness, then ask for more. We're fairly certain if the Knicks had somehow, someway agreed to that deal, Ujiri would have then asked for the Rockettes. 

As Ken Berger reported Wednesday, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh won't be freaking out over these talks. If Denver wants to continue throwing out ridiculous price tags in an effort to get a steal right up until the last minute, he's content to let them stimmer in their own absurd demands. The Knicks stomped the fourth-seeded Hawks last night to get a much needed win, will be making the playoffs regardless, and the future is bright with or without Melo. The fact that Denver is desperate enough to be trying to get what amounts to one of the most ridiculous deals this side of the Pau Gasol trade actually only further puts into relief how much they're flirting with disaster here. 

Even if they've moved towards a reasonable compromise from this starting position, you have to wonder just who it is that Masai Ujiri thinks he's got here. Melo is a top talent. An All-Star. But no rings, little defense, and not a legend. 

But apparently he's got a legend's asking price. 

No one's giving up that much for Carmelo Anthony, except Isiah Thomas. And he's not calling the shots. Yet
Posted on: December 25, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: December 25, 2010 4:14 pm

Felton gets the best of Rose in Knicks win

Knicks point guard comes up big to help Knicks topple Bulls on Christmas.
Posted by Matt Moore

Raymond Felton isn't mentioned as a top point guard in the league with so many amazing players at the position. His performance on Christmas Saturday against Derrick Rose and the Bulls. Felton finished with 20 points on 9 of 18 shooting, 12 assists, 5 steals, and 5 turnovers to Rose's 25 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 steals and 7 turnovers, with 12 of 28 shooting. But it was Felton's play in the fourth quarter that was essential at both ends. He managed to disrupt Rose enough and snagged two steals to help the Knicks pull away while the Bulls' offense went into the tank.

Then with the lead cut to six inside of a minute, Felton threaded a behind the back bounce pass to Wilson Chandler who used the space afforded to get his man in the air, then slice to the bucket for the score that iced the game. It was the kind of play he made all day, that he's made all season. Chicago elected to try the Boston approach on Amar'e Stoudemire and throw all their defense at him, which left space. Felton took advantage of it.

In particular, Saturday's game showed the difference in Felton under Mike D'Antoni versus Larry Brown. Under Brown, Felton would need to peel back on possessions like the fourth quarter jump ball he obtained, to set the offense. Under D'Antoni, Felton saw an opening and immediately attacked the basket.

Stoudemire gets all the marquee attention at the Garden, but Felton was the big difference for the Knicks today.


Assorted bullet thoughts: 
  • Chicago finished with a 94 efficiency rate, which is horrific. They scored 12 points in the 4th, and wen through an 8-minute drought in that quarter, which allowed the Knicks to pull away in a close one.
  • 45 combined turnovers today for the two teams, who apparently had a little too much egg nog last night.
  • Landry Fields was simply everywhere, and is the kind of player that rarely finds himself on Mike D'Antoini's teams. A fierce rebounder who makes all the little plays, gets good steals, and will do whatever is asked. He was also very efficient with 5 of 7 shooting.
  • Kyle Korver is up there with Ray Allen for best "off-the-curl-screen" catch-and-shoot three-point shooter. His only playing twenty minutes has to make you scratch your head a bit.
  • Boozer, Rose,and Deng all played 40+ minutes Saturday, and the Bulls have a back-to-back Sunday on the road at Detroit. That should be fun. 
Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:03 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 4:27 pm

Boston's trouble with running favors Knicks

You may think that New York has little shot against the mighty Celtics Wednesday night. While Boston is the best team in the league, the evidence says they may have their hands full against the Knicks

Posted by Matt Moore

You know what Boston's point differential was last year? 3.6 points per game. They won on average by a margin of 3.6. The New York Knicks lost by average of 3.8 points last year. As the Celtics are very good and the Knicks were very not, you'd imagine that the Celtics would have blown them out, as they did the year before when their average margin of victory over the Knicks was over 12 points per game. 

Except it wasn't. It was 3.75 points per game, including one three-point loss to the Knicks, and a two-point win in overtime. This against a much lesser team than the Amare-Stoudemire and Raymond Felton led squad they're visiting this evening. 


So while Boston is very busy talking about how this is not a rivalry and everyone's laughing off talks that the Knicks are in Boston's league as the two prepare to meet Wednesday night, it should be noted that perhaps this might be a game. Why? Because Boston doesn't like run-and-gun, that's why. 

The Celtics lost twice to Amar'e's old club in Phoenix by a combined 25 points . They split with Golden State, the fastest team in the league according to pace (number of possessions per game), winning by 14 , and then losing by 10 . Boston also split with Denver (fifth in pace), Houston (sixth in pace), and Memphis (7th in pace). (They drubbed Indiana and Minnesota the second and third fastest teams, because, well, they were terrible.)

Even account for the late season swoon by the Celtics as they coasted to the playoffs, running teams have had success against Boston. The reason that becomes evident if you watched those games is that it's an overload of what Boston tries to hard to stop. Offense. There's no balance on these clubs. They simply get up and down the floor as quickly as humanly possible. Try and slow the game down to out-maneuver them and the Celtics will always be in place. The only way through is over. You have to stampede them with speed and shooting, perplex them with threes in transition and make those old legs work. 

According to 82games.com , The Celtics have played slow-pace teams ten times, and fast paced teams eight times. They're 9-1 against slow teams, and 6-2 against fast teams. Yeah, that's still an impressive win percentage, but notice that they do have more trouble (relatively speaking) against fast teams.  New York is third in pace this year

Throw in the fact that Amar'e Stoudemire is a tougher cover for Kevin Garnett than most and you've got possible problems for Boston. Stoudemire may not be a defensive stalwart, but on offense he's not soft. He's the Anti-Bosh. He's aggressive, strong, and forceful, throwing down jams and screaming with the best of them (and Garnett is the best of them). The Knicks will get pounded inside tonight by Boston's bigs, but making Shaquille O'Neal and Glen Davis romp up and down the floor will wear on them (Shaq's a game time decision right now). Ray Allen and Rondo will like the fast pace just fine, but Paul Pierce doesn't prefer it. And in the meantime, Mike D'Antoni can ratchet up the speed without concern tonight. There's no need to try and slow  down, play good defense, and play good solid traditional basketball. That's how Boston kills you. No, instead, D'Antoni can let loose the dogs of Madison Square Garden and go Four Seconds or Less. The faster the Knicks go, the better chance they have. 

Boston's been nearly unbeatable his season, so they're still the clear favorite in this game. But while conventional wisdom says that a team with as solid of a defense as Boston should dominate a trigger-happy team like the Knicks, the evidence shows otherwise. Sometimes you've got to run if you want to get over the mountain, apparently. 

Boston meets New York in Madison Square Garden Wednesday night.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com