New Coach, Old Team

On Wednesday, the Knicks announced the resignation of Coach Mike D’Antoni. After six losses in a row and dropping from the 8th to the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference, there was immense pressure on the Knicks organization to make changes with the impending trade deadline, the head coach would be the first to fall.

While D’Antoni may have taken the blame, the real question on the mind of every fan is, “who is really at fault?” The most common speculations are as follows:

  • Carmelo Anthony: His isolation plays disrupt the fast paced offensive schemes of Mike D’Antoni that has been so successful during the Linsanity era.
  • Amare Stoudemire: His defense has been horrible and even his offense is subpar considering how much he’s being paid.
  • Jeremy Lin: Opposing teams have figured him out and have adjusted to his style of play, limiting his productivity.
  • Injuries: Tyson Chandler, Jared Jefferies, and Iman Shumpert have all missed a few games in the past few weeks. All three are critical defensive players to the Knicks team.
  • Mike D’Antoni: He failed to properly adapt and include the many new players into the team after the Linsanity win streak.
In the end, despite a roster that is seemingly stronger than ever, the Knicks lost 6 games in a row, including some against inferior opponents (though they were even able to topple stronger opponents during Linsanity). While all the above factors were probably involved, the loss of a coach is a much bigger event than losing 6 games when considering the future direction of the organization. Mike D’Antoni clearly left because his coaching methods were not being respected or recognized anymore by either the players and/or the ownership. Unfortunately, since Jeremy is at the very center of D’Antoni’s system like Steve Nash was in years past, his role as the point guard leading the charge is likely going to become limited in the near future. Interim coach Mike Woodson has said as much that he would like to see more isolation plays from Carmelo Anthony, which is purely dependent on Anthony’s ability to hit shots, regardless of who is the point guard. Whether this finds success or not will undoubtedly shape Jeremy’s loyalties when his contract ends this summer.

Jeremy Lin added to All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge

Jeremy will be a part of All-Star weekend
 in multiple ways, with his recent inclusion into the Rising Stars Challenge (Rookie-Sophomore game), as a helper to Iman Shumpert for the dunk contest, and possibly as part of the Shooting Stars competition.

“The New York Knicks point guard was added Thursday to the roster of players for the Feb. 24 game at All-Star Weekend in Orlando, just before Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley began drafting for their teams.

Sources with knowledge of the league’s plans told that Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert — one of four dunk-contest entrants — will be enlisting Lin to “assist” him in a manner similar to the help 2011 champion Blake Griffin got from then-Los Angeles Clippers teammate Baron Davis.

A league source Thursday confirmed a New York Daily News report that the NBA will make Lin part of the field for the Haier Shooting Stars competition during All-Star Saturday night. That would enable Lin to join Shumpert’s dunk routine as well.