There is no question about it, the Knicks cannot reach basketball immortality with Mike D’Antoni’s coaching system. Either D’Antoni has to implement a better defensive philosophy or the front office must hand him a pink slip. The Knicks failed to compete with the Celtics last series, and it was clear D’Antoni should no longer head the team on the bench.
His offensive system may be fun to watch, but we saw with the Phoenix Suns that it cannot win important games in June. The great basketball axiom has stayed true to this day. “Championships are won with defensive.” It does not take a clairvoyant to predict that the Knicks will see more early playoff exits if D’Antoni is not replaced.
The Knicks may find themselves on “SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays” if D’Antoni sticks around, but they will surely not seem themselves on ABC in mid-June.
Rumors have been circulating as to who will replace Mike D’Antoni and many people would like to see changes to the coaching bench. Patrick Ewing has been mentioned as a possible head man for the Knicks, and even former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has been mentioned as the next voice in the locker-room.
Whoever the coach may be, the Knicks need to make sure he is a defensive-minded man who is not afraid to challenge his players. D’Antoni was hired by Walsh, but now that he is gone, D’Antoni’s supporter is no longer there to back him up. The Knicks front office can put the franchise in the best situation by letting go of D’Antoni and start anew.
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