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.
ESPN: Jeremy Lin getting overwhelmed
The media bombarded the Knicks morning practice with interview requests and reactions to the hype around Jeremy.
“Things are changing so much and everyone wants to talk to me and my family,” said Lin, who’s gone from 15th man on the end of the Knicks’ bench to the talk of the NBA in the last seven days. “We’re very low-key people and private people, so sometimes it’s a little tough… But when I get on the court and I play with our team, none of us are thinking about all of this other stuff that’s going on,” the former Harvard standout said. “It’s just basketball and that’s what we enjoy.”
Tyson Chandler’s reaction to “Linsanity”:
“I love it, I love it. I’m glad that it’s happening to him, in all honesty,” Tyson Chandler said of all of the attention heaped on Lin. “It couldn’t happen to a better guy. Because he’s maybe one of the one few guys who can take all of this. … The way he goes about things, you would never know all of this stuff was going on.”
The Knicks take on the Lakers tonight at Madison Square Garden at 8:00 PM ET. The game will be shown on ESPN.