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Report: D’Antoni’s job with Knicks safe. For now at least.

Jan 28, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni AP

Apparently the Knicks are not planning to end the Mike D’Antoni era any time soon.

Then again, Flip Saunders got a direct vote of confidence from his owner just a couple weeks before the axe fell.

But as of right now, there are no plans to make a move — but D’Antoni’s fate could rest with Baron Davis, reports Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated. Which should make D’Antoni sick to his stomach.

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.

  1. brooklynbulls - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    What made D’Antoni successful was Steve Nash. It’s Steve’s brilliance that led to everyone mistaking him for a talented coach. Without him D’antoni’s been exposed as the inefficient, inadequate and inept coach he truly is.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      As good as Nash is offensively, he just as bad on the defensive side of it. That team was never going to win because they couldn’t play defense.

  2. isaiahforreal - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I guess Felton Amare and co last year before the trade weren’t good enough pcs either ?

  3. bklynfatpants - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Phil Jackson is too smart and too retired to want to deal with Dolan. What Dolan and Isaiah did to this club is criminal. By some miracle this club started to get a heart again and then the trade for Melo mucked it up. I’m not saying it is all Melo’s fault, but the team before the trade was a team you could really root for.

  4. ihatetoneydouglas - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    I’m having as much sex as the Knicks are winning games.I’m pissed.The Knicks need to go in a new direction coach wise,and I need my wife to let me go where the good boys go more than once in ten chances.

  5. danielcp0303 - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    How about this…D’Antoni’s not a very good coach, and that Suns team was really good despite him

    • sasquash20 - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      This guy stinks. No team he coaches will ever play defense so he won’t ever win.

  6. twitterhappier - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    No Matt this weekend???

  7. goforthanddie - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    They’d be doing him a favor by firing him.

  8. rushbacker - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Well, who ever thought sinking 95% of your cap space in the front court was a smart way to build a team?

    The Knicks have two choices– find a way to trade Carmelo (no one’s taking Amare’s deal and his knees) for a quality point guard like Derron Williams, or continue to be an irrelevant afterthought for the foreseeable future. Thinking they can win in the playoffs with the back court they have now is laughable.

  9. damp1015 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    First of all I am a Knicks fan so I’m not bashing them.

    But you are able to blame a coach if he cannot adjust to what he has to work with. Yes you may have hired him because of his “7 seconds”, but if you are not able to obtain the players that can work well in that system, then you have to adapt. That makes someone great, not because one way works.

    As far as Melo and Amar’e, I think they could make one of the most prolific front courts if the right system was put into place. You have Tyson Chandler who also is a beast to help them. Shumpert is a rookie and looks to be a viable piece, even Landry Fields. We need a PG to help distribute the ball. Melo and Amar’e need to move more and it can happen.

    I would love to have Mr. Jackson come coach for the Knicks, I know he is a winning coach with proven accolades, however we do not always get what we want just like we didn’t get these so called “players” to make it work.

  10. djflav303 - Jan 29, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Phil Jackson would never risk his reputation with players like these. NY fell in love with names and not team basketball, blame the coach all you want, but the players play the game, and these guys are a bad fit.

    • damp1015 - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      So why have coaches if it is on all the players fault? If they cannot make the system of the “coach” work with each other then its their fault automatically. The coach should try a different set.

      Look at the Lakers, Phil Jackson ran a great team, now Mike Brown and his system does not comply with Kobe(supposed near equal to MJ), Gasol and Bynum.

      But obvious you are such a fan of the game that you understand the players are the only fault.

  11. realitypolice - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I’m sorry, but a coach who can only be successful with a certain type of player playing a certain type of offense is simply not an elite coach.

    He’s a bad fit for this team and he isn’t changing and the players aren’t going anywhere. I don’t understand what the Knicks don’t understand about this.

    They need to make this change now- it’s the ONLY shot they have of saving this season.

  12. dysraw1 - Jan 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Dolan is 1 of the craziest owners i have ever seen now he wants to be patient, all the great coaches that were here in the past now he wants to be patient ricky D calls a play in a timeout, and the team does nowhere near what he said do an this guy gets patients.

  13. cantonbound13 - Jan 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    My only fear is some how Isiah Thomas will weasle his way back to NY and destroy this franchise for another 10 years.

  14. LPad - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I don’t think you can just gloss over the fact that D’Antoni can’t adjust his system. Really good coaches just their systems to the personnel. For example, when Riley came to the Knicks he realized that he didn’t have Magic and adjusted his entire style of play. Phil Jackson is another example when he coached the Lakers the first time he adjusted the triangle from having a 2 and a 3 being the primary options to having a 5 and a 2 be the primary options (remember how DAntoni couldn’t incorporate Shaq into his system in Phoenix). When Gasol came over he adjusted it again to take advantage of Pau’s ability to score in both the low and high post.

    In my opinion, D’Antoni’s inability to adjust his system demonstrates how limited his system really is. For example, both Jerry Sloan and Lenny Wilkens (when he was coaching the Cavs) relied heavily on the pick n roll. However, both Sloan and Wilkens were able to incorporate good to great post players into their system unlike D’Antoni. They also didn’t sacrifice defense for offense like D’Antoni does.

    • dysraw1 - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      he cant even get a play out of a tineout

  15. dysraw1 - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    any coach who allows his team 43 3s against the Heat does not have a clue

  16. wrubin3 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    The Knicks’ bench has a smart playmaker sitting on the bench, Jeremy Lin. Why is this idiot D’Antoni only playing him in garbage time. If Jeremy had started these past ten games-Amare and Melo and Chandler would have been getting easy open looks after Lin broke down the defense. He keeps starting chuckers like the new kid or Douglas or the older guard who hardly ever has any Nash like moves. Let Jeremy start now and he could be a fine backup to the aging Baron Davis. Everyone in the backcourt would then be playing their proper positions and the court would open up and spread out with the addition of a true point guard.

    • dysraw1 - May 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      dude i like your crystal ball can you tell my future too

  17. cap1378 - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Dantoni has to go.

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