A Daily Babble Production
On a night when the NBA had the audacity to leave us without a playoff game, the time has finally arrived to discuss a topic that has been eating at me for the last week: a certain Eastern Conference coach.
His team has been skewered of late for hiring him in the first place because the match isn't a so-called 'good fit.' Supposedly, this guy just doesn't have the right system for this team as presently constructed.
Given the recent history of the team in question, however, I'm a bit confused.
I wonder what the 'right system' is for a team with...All of Steve's daily posts can be found in the CelticsBlog: NBA blog. Check him out!
...a power forward who has the distinction of being the one player in this league least worth having on one's team.
...a center who is closing in on becoming wider than he is tall.
...a malcontent point guard who was atrocious a season ago in both play and behavior.
...a shooter who can't shoot anymore and seems to get by on the constant excuse that he is either injured or playing through injury.
...a chucker who comes off as a bright and likable star on this team because he speaks nicely to the media, doesn't check in at 600 pounds and hasn't sexually harassed any team employees.
...one reserve power forward who plays hard and happens to be the team's best player.
...one energetic reserve who also happens to be out of his mind.
...another energetic reserve who has yet to refine any of his basketball skills.
...a back-up center who has averaged more fouls than rebounds per game in his tenure with the team.
...a $26-million man who just isn't any good at basketball.
...several lower paid reserves who also qualify for the 'just not any good at basketball' tag.
Since 2001, the NBA's alleged marquee franchise has made the playoffs just once. It has lost 50 games three times and had a winning record exactly zero times in that span.
Over that time, the New York Knickerbockers have gone through six coaches. One of the better defensive coaches in the league left 19 games into the 2001-02 season because he knew the ship was sinking. The man who serves as both the league's winnigest and losingest coach had the pleasure of presiding over the team that got swept out of the 2004 playoffs. One of the best basketball minds on this planet (and a great defensive coach in his own right) led this team all the way to 59 losses in 2005-06. One of the best players and worst executives of all time coaxed the Knicks to a total of 56 wins over the past two seasons, and he didn't seem even remotely interested in the kryptonite that is defense.
Now, the Knicks have hired a man with a career winning percentage of .608 and a low-water mark of 54 wins over his last four seasons, and some believe that Mike D'Antoni's offensive-minded uptempo system will be the problem in the Sizable Apple?
Mike D'Antoni has shown himself capable of big-time regular season success and moderate (two trips to the conference finals, career .510 postseason winning percentage) playoff success at this job.
The players who currently constitute the New York Knicks have done no such thing.
Blame the Knicks for plenty of mismanagement over the past decade. They've certainly been guilty of it, and we've been more than happy to throw kerosene on that fire in this very space.
But blaming them for hiring a winning coach likely to do a great job handling the tough New York media no matter how the team plays just doesn't seem quite fair at all.