Watching the Knicks get pounded by the Washington Wizards tonight (yeah they came back to win. Totally beside the point) and I just couldn’t help but ask myself a few questions:

Did Mike D’Antoni put together this ridiculously top-heavy roster?

Of course not.

Would D’Antoni ever want a notorious ball-stopper as Carmelo Anthony as part of his famed “7 seconds or less” offense piliosophy that worked so well in Phoenix?

Hell no.

Is he gonna be the one to take the bullet for the Knicks horrible start, even though the front office (well, Jimmy Dolan in particualr) is responsible for gutting the team in the Anthony trade?

You betcha.

Hey, it sucks. D’Antoni took the Knicks job despite overtures from the Bulls, and it’s a safe bet that if he knew the Bulls were gonna hit the Derek Rose lottery he’d probably be in the windy city. Let’s be clear here, though: D’Antoni is a “system” coach, meaning he only believes in doing things his way. He wants his teams to run and shoot, usually as much as possible. He could care less about defense or depth. Give him seven good players who want to get up & down and he’s good to go. Give him two guys who like the ball in their hands and are fond of holding it for long periods of time, and well, it might not work out.

Even worse, try handing the guy a third star like Tyson Chandler, a supposed defensive stopper who has almost no offensive game. Then saddle him with a dozen or so marginal pro players. A Big ol’ collection of has-beens, never-will-be’s and end-of-the-bench types. Guys like Steve Novak, Jeremy Lin, and Jerome Jordan. Then, ask guys to do more than they are capable of. Ask Toney Douglas, Iman Shumpert and Mike Bibby to handle the point guard spot (and do be surprised when they shoot 34% as group in the first 6 games) for an NBA team.

You know what happens next? Mediocre happens. Embarrassment happens. And yes, getting fired likely happens. If this doesn’t turn around in a hurry, he’ll be out of there.

Just know it wasn’t his fault, and D’Antoni will land in a better situation in almost no time. He deserves better than this mess.

John Hathwell



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