Without a doubt, the NBA is much better when the Knicks are a competitive team. That is why most of the last decade sucked for basketball because the Knicks were god-awful. They rose to prominence last year with Amare Stoudemire coming to the Big Apple. They reasserted their position in the NBA universe when they acquired Carmelo Anthony. Too bad that trade became their Midas touch, with a 1st round exit last year and a woeful start this year. There are reports of infighting and Coach Mike D’Antoni is walking on thin ice. There have been many rumors of trades to help fix the situation in New York; Stoudemire to any team from Philly to Phoenix and in between. Melo to New Jersey for Deron Williams. Others simply have said to get rid of D’Antoni because there is no ‘D’ when it comes D’Antoni and the Knicks. All that is well and good but here are my simple solutions to help fix the Knicks this year.
- Carmelo must learn to pass: There is not enough balls to go around for all the Knicks to be happy. Stoudemire is moping all over the place as Carmelo jacks up shots. Even worse is that Melo isn’t making them. That’s a recipe for disaster. For one, it’s probably a bad idea to have these two volume shooters that don’t play defense on the same team. Because Melo is the best player on the team, the subpar PGs defer to him, therefore Melo gets the ball. He doesn’t shoot in rhythm and refuses to pass out of double teams. With that formula, the Knicks have lost 9 of their last 10 as of Monday afternoon. During their one win, against the Bobcats no less, Melo scored 1 point! He only took 7 shots but grabbed 11 rebounds and dished 4 assists as the Knicks blew out the Bobcats. More team ball is necessary in New York which brings up the next point.
- PG wanted at MSG: Remember when the Knicks were trying to get a trade together for Chris Paul before GM David Stern went wild on us? There is a reason for that; and it is evident every night when the Knicks play. The club needs a quarterback for the D’Antoni system; they need someone that can run the offense and make Melo and Amare happy. Right now, Toney Douglas is not the answer and Iman Shumpert is too young. The Knicks gave up too much to get Melo, especially in trading Raymond Felton. Them banking on Baron Davis shows how laughable the situation is currently. That’s why you hear rumors of Anthony for Williams, though that would be dumb. Look how potent the Knicks were with Chauncey Billups as PG last year; that team was a threat and Billups isn’t even that good anymore. Could the Knicks hire Jack Bauer to get Aaron Brooks out of China earlier than his contract will allow? Will that move even matter.
- No D in D’Antoni or NYC: I don’t think D’Antoni is the right coach for this squad. Hell, D’Antoni isn’t the right coach for a lot of squads, especially one with a superstar who likes to play a slow-down half-court style (Anthony). Even worse is that this squad has no defense intensity. What can Tyson Chandler do with a power forward that has never played defense and a small forward who wants to use all his energy on the offensive end? Coach D’Antoni’s best defense strategy is to score 120+ points a game! That’s not going to work with this squad. Sometimes is not that the coach sucks, it’s just that he’s not the right one for the job at hand. However I blame Knicks management for making the Melo trade last year without thinking everything through.
2. Sixers and Nuggets – The Un-Knicks: Two teams that nobody talks about, the 76ers and the Nuggets. No superstars, no problems for these squads. They play great team ball, the Nuggets on the offensive side, the 76ers on defense. These squads are easily top 5 in both of their respective conferences. Both teams play very well together, and are led by two great coaches. How far can they good in a league that is dominated by superstars? For the 76ers we’ll see these next two weeks; the combined record of their next 7 opponents starting Monday (the Magic) is 94-48. If they can make it through at 4-3, they can make some noise in April and May. If they are 2-5, I’m sure they will be calling the Knicks to see if Amare Stoudemire likes cheesesteaks.
3. We Watch So You Don’t Have To – Wizards Update: Let’s see, Flip Saunders got fired, Andray Blatche is hurt, the Wizards won two games. The team has turned from one of the most entertaining, ratchet, wretched teams in the NBA history to just another boring, underachieving squad. Ah well, as long as I can get tickets to a game for 30 cents, that should tide me over for the rest of the season.