The New York Knicks are going to appoint Leon Rose as their New President of Basketball Operations. Now the question remains, what will happen to Mike Miller?
The worst-kept secret currently in the NBA is that Leon Rose will be announced as the new President of Basketball Operations of the New York Knicks. While this news broke over a week ago the New York Knicks still have not publicly appointed Leon Rose.
In fact, Marc Berman of the NY Post reported through unnamed sources that the only thing standing in the way of an official announcement appointing Rose as the new President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks was Dwyane Wade‘s jersey retirement ceremony that occurred this past weekend. Rose took part in the festive as Wade’s agent.
With possibly his last act as a super agent in the rear-view mirror, Knicks fans could see their new executive appointed as early as this week as reported by Jonathan Macri of Sport Illustrated.
With his appointment looming, it’s fair to wonder what will be of interim coach Mike Miller under a new regime.
Miller was brought into the organization by Phil Jackson in 2015 to coach the Westchester Knicks of the G-League because of his familiarity with the triangle offense. Soon after, Miller was awarded G-League Coach of the Year honors in 2018 while distinguishing himself in the NBA’s developmental league.
He was then promoted onto New York Knicks David Fizdale’s staff as an assistant in the beginning of this season and named interim coach once Fizdale was fired after a poor start (to the tune of 4-18).
Since Miller took over the team, the Knicks have improved and hold a 13-22 record. He has taken the defensive rating from 25th to 15th in a short amount of time. With Fizdale running the show, the Knicks switched everything on defense and players often seemed confused while missing rotations.
Another side effect from Fizdale’s system was that Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks defensive stalwart, was often switched onto perimeter players and thus outside of the paint unable to protect the rim.
The signs of offense are fairly positive also and perhaps the most obvious beneficiary has been Julius Randle who has improved his scoring from 16.5 to 21.1 ppg, his FG % from 44.2 to 46.2%, and his rebounding from 8.5 to 10.5 rpg (per NBA.com).
His assist rate has deflated a bit, but that has been the consequence from a tweak Miller made from Fizdale’s system that had put the ball in Randle’s hands in the perimeter and given him more play-making duty than he ever had before.
Miller has done a better job of putting Randle in a position to succeed and one of those changes was letting Julius be himself: a bruising PF with good touch around the basket capable of winning 1-1 match ups.
Surely, Leon Rose has been taking note of the Knicks’ improvement under Miller and hopefully he will consider keeping Miller on staff if reports are true that Thibodeau is leading the race for the permanent head coaching job. While the Knicks are still far from a solid playoff team, it’s fair to say that Miller has done an admirable job since taking over.
He is a basketball lifer who has been coaching for decades at lower levels and has gotten performances out of a flawed Knicks roster that few believed he could and thus deserves a chance to stay on board.