No D’Antoni, and business is booming for the New York Knicks, who decided to go with their players, mostly Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who were unhappy with whatever was going down with their former head coach. Under Mike Woodson? No losses so far, and Jeremy Lin is not shocking anyone. He might not be superstarish each night, but he’s more than good enough to lead the Knicks on some nights.
Lin was the focus of the fan-fare in Indianapolis, with the Knicks seemingly enjoying a home advantage despite the Pacers having a very good season. It might teach you how far this team has drifted from the fans over the last 6-7 years, and how far they have to go before there is more than a minor buzz around the Pacers.
A 25-18 record and a probably second consecutive playoff visit is probably not enough. Getting a superstar is probably a good way of doing that. Danny Granger is a good player, maybe an All-Star at best, be he doesn’t sell ticket, not many of them at least. Paul George? I’m not sure his potential is that great.
It was a good weekend for the Knicks against the Pacers, with two double digit wins, one in New York and one in Indiana, with Jeremy Lin, despite being taken back by the continuous support he’s getting from the Asian fans, leading the way. Lin finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while turning the ball over only twice, making his night even more impressive.
Carmelo & Stat? The two players who have seemed to enjoy D’Antoni’s departure more than anyone scored 16 each, liking Woodson’s motion toward more post up basketball and less Jeremy Lin and point guard havoc. It does break out, but the Knicks, or the stars of the Knicks, setting the tone and voice of the other guys, like the new, more restrained style. You can’t argue with the results (3 wins in double digits).
Amare – Coach Woodson, he’s more of — he’s a players’ coach. It’s a matter of us as players playing hard for him and trying to get these wins. Lin – I just think it’s we have all 15 guys right now on the same page buying in, and that’s the biggest thing, is that we’re playing together. I don’t think there’s any major changes philosophically from a coaching standpoint.
So it was all D’Antoni’s fault? Too early to say, although D’Antoni has been around for a few years, and the team actually took a step or two backwards this season in terms of chemistry and defense compared to last season, when they finally made the playoffs. The front-office believed the players. It’s easier backing hard to trade superstars when you can fire (or force to resign) a head coach that wasn’t that popular anyway.