Jan 28, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT
Apparently the Knicks are not planning to end the Mike D’Antoni era any time soon.
But sources close to the situation say that D’Antoni is safe for now and the foreseeable future. Owner James Dolan is remaining patient, and D’Antoni, who is in the final year of his contract, will be given an opportunity to make the most of the Baron Davis experiment that is about to begin.
There are two schools of thought on D’Antoni. But both begin with one basic, indisputable fact — he has not been given the players to run his system. Knicks brass has traded away every decent point guard they had and saddled him with prolific but inefficient scorers like Carmelo Anthony.
One school of thought is that D’Antoni should adjust his system to the talent he has been given. We will call this the “most Knicks fans school of thought.” Especially those that want his head. Their argument is you coach what you are given and he should stop trying to fit square pegs into round holes, or ‘Melo into a point forward role. Those fans are ready for the Phil Jackson era (which is another story…).
The other school is the “you can’t blame the guy when you didn’t give him the right parts” theory. This is my school of thought. This would have been like the NFL’s Buccaneers hiring Chip Kelly out of Oregon then giving him some run-blocking offensive linemen and straight ahead runners but no quarterback of note. (Which would have been a very Tampa Bay thing to do.) You hire Kelly because of his system, you have to give him the pieces to make it work. You hired D’Antoni because of his success running “seven seconds or less” so give him players that fit the system, not inefficient ball stoppers.
Either way, clearly D’Antoni’s seat is getting hot. Baron Davis is not going to be the answer (he’s an answer, better than what they have, but not the answer). Whether or not he survives this season, and whether or not they bring him back next year, this is on the Knicks front office and owner James Dolan, not D’Antoni.
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