Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finally, a Knicks post. We suck. Curses! (1 of 3)

The Knicks are a fucking joke. But, we will be FINE. We are the Knickerbockers after all; Clyde will get more swishing and dishing, less saulking and faulking. Grandpa Walsh (not really, but I have had dreams about this) and D'Antoni (moustache, amazing, but not as good as Alon's) will right the ship, I have decided. Now, the entire team needs to be overhauled in the wake of the complete MESS that Isiah left us with. Just quickly, if any team ever gives Thomas a front office position ever again, I will just, I mean, wtf, he could not have been worse at his job. Funny how quickly the Larry Brown debachle has been forgotten. But, fk Isiah, he is the worst thing ever, die, die, die, kill yourself, I hate you, ok enough. I'm fine. Moving on, the current roster construction is absolutely atrocious. There is basically nothing good about it. I love the Knicks, but I absolutely hate, hate, hate this team. So, for the primary, and surely one of many, Knicks posts here at Bloodsports, I will go very in depth into many aspects of the team. Part one will be strictly talking about D'Antoni and Walsh. Part two, which will actually be written (you taking notes Hiro?), will be a breakdown of each player on the roster in great capacity. You need to either be 1: very into the Knicks or 2: very into basketball if you have any hope of enjoying this. So, with that disclaimer, More... yourself as you see fit.

Ok, Walsh (Donald). Donnie was the best possible guy available to reconstruct our club, period. I'm so happy we got him, and he has proved time and time again that he understands what it takes to fix a roster. We have the highest payroll in the league to go with one of the-if not the-worst roster in the league. It is truly a monumental undertaking to turn this team around into a competitive team in the very near future, as Knicks fans and ownership are demanding. It remains to be seen how successful Walsh will be, but so far, so good. I will get more into the GMish aspects and what to do with each player in my next post.

Ok, Mike D'Antoni. I remember when we hired him this past summer hearing the collective groans amongst Knicks fans as they yearned for Marc Jackson. I was absolutely appalled that Knicks fans were not rejoicing at the D'Antoni hire as much as I was. Jackson would have been an absolute horrific fit for this club. He would have been a first year coach with: everything to prove, a horrible team, and no clear direction as to where he would want the roster to go. Also, with the demanding media and added scrutiny he would be placed under in New York to go with the fact that we will suck for at least the next two years, Jackson would have crumbled and likely ran out of town. He would have just been a mess, there is no question at all in my mind to this and it is fact. And that would also mean the breakup his on air trio with Van Gundy and Breen which would have represented a nightmare scenario for the NBA and fans alike.

Another thing that I kept hearing after the D'Antoni hire was the hope that we would wait and see if we could get Tom Thibideau, Celtics defensive guru and assistant coach, instead. I was very irritated by this, as well. First of all, it would have been too great a risk to wait; we were capable of signing D'Antoni and to hold out for Thibodeau with no indication whatsoever as to what Tom would want to petod faulk seems asenine to me. He was still with the Celts and unable to have any sort of negotiations with other teams. The fervor for Thibodeau to be the Knicks head coach was pure speculation and yet was a resounding force amongst Knicks fans who lamented the D'Antoni hire. That bothered me to no end. Another thing about the Thibodeau hire, he would have in my opinion been a much worse hire than D'Antoni even if he was available. We will be horrible this year, and Thibodeau would have been preaching 48 minutes of defensive intensity to no end. On losing teams with no playoff aspirations this has the potential to cause a divide between players and coach. Our players would have hated to bust their asses game in and game out on defense for such a demanding coach (curry, zrand, crawford..defense..lets be serious) when we would be getting routinely destroyed and in the doldrums of the Eastern Conference anyway. Thibodeau obviously has a great defensive basketball mind and could be a great head coach in this league, but he would not have thrived in New York. Not now and not with this roster.

D'Antoni, on the other hand, will let our guys run around and shoot and teach his elaborate offensive system and they will at least be happy this year while they suck and FUN TO WATCH (thank GOD, finally). Further, in D'Antoni's shooter-happy system it will help prop up the values of our players so we can actually get rid of their massive contracts. Ideally, anyway. And also, players across the league actually WANT to play under him. The vast majority of players like offense more than defense and they like when the coach doesn't make them play defense. D'Antoni and the ability to play in his system will be a great piece of leverage over future free agents.

Also, I love the way I can generalize the terms "their massive contracts" and "players" for the Knicks. In that, everyone on our team, basically, sucks and are signed to a ridiculous and largely unmovable deals. Goddammit Knicks, what has happened. Mid-posting this, and just as my mind is spinning about the Knicks, I really cannot believe how out of control things have gotten for the orange and blue. The past few seasons have been absolutely painful to watch, and I am really getting so tired of it. But anyway, back on track, I really like the D'Antoni hire.

I feel like D'Antoni was the best possible coach to come in here. Again, yes defense wins championships and D'Antoni does not care for this aspect of the game, but we are LIGHTYEARS away from contention. BABY STEPS, Knicks fans. Also, D'Antoni was, if I'm not mistaken, right on the cusp of titledom for the Suns (the Western Conference Suns) for several years. Put those Suns teams in the Eastern Conference and they are in the finals three years straight. He will bring a fun style of basketball to the Garden which will make the players more excited to play and give the fans more joy out of watching which is desperately needed. The system that he runs will also make Walsh's job easier. There are certain types of players who fit and others who do not. We can pinpoint the spare parts on our current roster (unfortunately, that means mostly everyone) and also target specific types of players as we prepare up for the Summer of Lebron. D'Antoni knows which players will excel under him and which will not. In 2 or 3 years down the road, we will assess D'Antoni, and Walsh for that matter, in a different light with higher expectations, as our roster continues to change and get better - I hope. But for the time being and the immediate future, I do not understand why any Knicks fans are unhappy with this guy at our helm. ESPECIALLY after the Isiah and Brown eras.

I realize I didn't really get into WHY I like D'Antoni and that right there (what you just read) was more of an incoherent rambling/rant. Ok, Walsh (me, this time). I need to calm down right now. It's very hard writing about teams you follow so closely without going overly nuts/insane and diverting into a million tangents. Ok, we're fine again. Onward. D'Antoni brings an actual system to our team (offensive only) and will actually coach instead of sit on the bench for 48 minutes with pursed lips while making stupid faces (Isiah..ugh). He requires his players to run up and down the floor. The pick and roll is the bread and butter of his offensive schemes, as Nash and Amare ran it to perfection in his time at Phoenix. There are a plethora of options to choose from on every single offensive possession and his system, while it seems like players just sprint up and down the floor and shoot, is really very in depth. The point guard position is absolutely essential to his entire system and its motor. The pg has to assess and correctly analyze how the defense is reacting and run the correct offensive scheme accordingly, as Nash did to perfection in Phoenix. D'Antoni wants quick shots on offense and for the ball to essentially never stop moving. Defensively, he doesn't really give a faulk. He pressures sometimes and just runs a straight man hoping that he will lure the opposing team into his style of up and down basketball. If he induces the other teams into playing his style of basketball, his controlled chaos will win out over pure chaos 120-110. Lu, lu. D'Antoni is an excellent player evaluator as he came up as a scout before he dabbled in head coaching. He knows what he wants and needs in a player, and is very capable, as he has shown in Phoenix, of building a team which can succeed under his style of basketball.

Last year, under Thomas, it is under appreciated by the fans as to how horrible Isiah was at coaching. He basically spent more time picking out what tie he would wear with his suit than coming up with a game plan on a nightly basis. Basically, as the head coach, did not coach at all. There were times, as reported this off season by Knick players, where Isiah would tell guys in the huddle to just give the ball to Jamal and that was it. JOKE! D'Antoni has a system which is entirely offensively inclined and is, in my estimation, the best thing for the Knicks at this time. It is an incentive for players to get into shape (Q now with less body fat) as they have the potential to turn in a career year if they can run and log the minutes effectively. Further, even though D'Antoni does not really coach or care for defense, the Suns did get very deep into the playoffs and were a very, very good team in the West under him. There is no reason why he cannot do the same thing with us, given time, and with or without any defense. I hope he will be here for a while and I hope that we let him and Walsh run their course on our basketball team as I believe they will put it together.

Ok, so I love D'Antoni and Walsh, that felt good to get off my chest. This is sort of a therapeutic exercise venting about all this Knicks madness, I am a joke, we are fine, maybe, lets go right now. I was thinking of doing a sort of mock GM thing like we need to trade x, y, and z (or in the Knicks' case more like a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j, and k...eoh). But instead, I will look at this more in my next post. Stay tuned.


Alon said...

Good post. we'll be fine knicks fans... right? :|...

hirosh27 said...

donald walsh > adam walsh

godson81 said...

although i respect your opinion and you made some good points in the spirit of sports blogging I am responding with my own thoughts-

I'm one of the knick faitfhul who hated the signing of dantoni. The biggest problem I had with it is this: If he couldnt win anything (not even a conference title!!!) in 3 tries with Nash, Marion, Amare, Barbosa, Bell, and the plethora of super talented players who were tailor made for his system - then what chance does he have of succeeding with a roster that is 100x worse?

Furthermore, I think the celtics proved again as did the spurs before them and the pistons before them that good defense will always win out. Look at the last times we even made the finals in '94 and '99 - both of those teams had high intensity players who were defensively oriented and had a certain toughness we severly lack now (which is why I was so pist we couldn't land artest). With that in mind I dont want to be entertained with the knicks as they lose 130- 120 every night. Rather I'd be willing to see them get pounded while at least learning some defense. Then at least maybe in 2-3 years we would be competing for a title instead of the best show on hardwood title.

And another thing - you admit that Dantoni needs a great pg for his system to thrive and I believe that the league is turning back to dominant teams having great pg leaders ie the cp3's, deron williams, tony parkers, nashs of the league, etc. That's why I was infuriated that we passed on more proven american players for gallinari. Now granted I dont know a thing about gallinari except from what I've heard - hes supposedly not as soft as other european players - but cmon, thats not saying much. The way I see it and I assumed every fan who was booing at the garden - We added another big man who's soft and cant play defense and whose main objective is to score (sounds awfully similar to zbo and curry- except that he may be a little more mobile) instead of getting an american tested pg to build around (like an augustin) and move on after the marbury debachle. Its just frustrating that the knicks seemingly keep compounding their mistakes with more poor decisions.

and one final note that i disagreed with you on is over quentin richardson; I am a much bigger fan of jamal crawford. While i think their drawbacks are apparent in that they both shoot a ton with a subpar fg% and defensive intensity. I think crawfords upside is vastly superior to richardsons. Crawford is a gaurd who can shoot, create his own shot, takeover a game, handle the ball (and break kirk hinrich's ankles), pass and even get some steals. Richardson is a sf who can shoot and rebound at times. Crawford i think will thrive much more than Q given dantoni's system. Crawfords young and only learning more and getting better. I think hes part of the solution and can see him around in a couple years hopefully as part of a winning club. I am a little biased b/c he's my 2nd favorite current knick besides DLee but I also think with the right coach and encouragement he can fix one of his two flaws and thats to maintain defensive intensity for the entire duration of his on-court minutes. At times crawford shows flashes and I mean hes athletic enough to keep those feet moving so theres no reason for him to not improve there. As for the other flaw his streakiness- ill live with it - i mean it worked out with starks.

Anonymous said...

haha.. alon's mustache is the best