View Full Version : Life After Isaiah: The Future of the Knicks

05-12-2008, 02:33 PM
James Dolan and Isaiah Thomas set the Knicks back for years to come. With one of the highest payrolls in the league, but one of the lowest win totals, the Knicks are the laughing stock of the NBA and an embarrassment to Commissioner David Stern. Finally an end to the failure and embarrassment seems to be in sight. The Knicks brought in Donnie Walsh, the man behind the long running success of the Pacers. Granted the Pacers have been bad the past few years, but up until the infamous Palace Brawl, the Pacers had long been one of the best teams in the NBA as well as consistently a contender in the East dating back to the early 90’s in the Reggie Miller and Rik Smits days. Donnie Walsh knows how to build a team, and as aged as he may be, he’s a New York guy, and returning to his hometown for the ultimate rebuilding job should give him the energy and passion to do what he is capable of.

Walsh was just the start, after weeks of rumors of who was in, who was out etc…Walsh finally got his guy, Mike D’Antoni. While it is obvious the Knicks personnel issues will pose a challenge to the system D’Antoni runs, it would be a mistake to think that this is the only move the Knicks will make this off-season. Walsh and D’Antoni certainly have some work to do, but things really can’t get worse in New York.

D'Antoni had several options on where to coach, most notably the Bulls, stay with the Suns or take the Knicks job. I can completely understand why he took the Knicks job. He wanted out of Phoenix because Steve Kerr is rumored to be a micro-manager, as well as a more defensive minded guy, which obviously Mike is not. So why would he go to the Bulls to work for another former Bulls guard who emphasizes defense? It would essentially be the same situation without as good of players.

But why would the Knicks bring D'Antoni in? They don't have a compliment of players to run his system. That doesn't matter right now. I would be shocked if they made no personnel moves this off-season. They will get the pieces Mike likes and wants, and it won't happen overnight, but this isn't about winning a title right now, its about making it to the playoffs. Then winning a series, and then eventually winning a title, but it is a series of events, not a major leap that is going to get the Knicks back to respectability in the NBA.

At the very least, the Knicks will be more entertaining to watch on the court this coming season, instead of more entertaining off it with the constant Isaiah Thomas circus. While some people think of D’Antoni as a one trick pony, what he will do for the Knicks is give them an identity, a specific way to play and they will compete on a night in and night out basis, something they didn’t have this year. His style may have wore thin on some Suns fans, but the reality of it is, he won 50+ games 4 years in a row, and that is no easy task.

It's not about winning 50 games in New York though, its about bringing a franchise in shambles to respectability. Before the ‘07-‘08 season many people thought that the Knicks would be more competitive and that Randolph would really help the team become at the least a playoff team. This wasn’t really all that lofty of a goal considering the 8th seeded Hawks only won 37 games. Things didn’t shake out, and maybe it was a blessing in disguise, because for as bad as the Knicks still weren’t the worst team in the NBA, and with the individually talented players they have, a coach with some competence should be able to figure something out.

The Knicks do have some bright spots on that roster as well. Guys like David Lee, Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, Renaldo Balkman, Jamal Crawford, Jared Jeffries, Quentin Richardson. All of those guys can contribute at the NBA level, and with the right direction, which D’Antoni can give, the Knicks should be able to win more than 23 games next year. An overhaul of the roster still needs to happen, and it will, but it will be an gradual process. And don’t forget that they actually have their lottery pick for this year.

The NBA could not be happy to see this change either. New York is a money machine for the NBA, and even though the Knicks are terrible, they're still valued as the most valuable franchise. To have them return to contention would boost ratings, because people watch national teams, and the Knicks have probably lost a few fans over the last couple years, but a transformation of style and record will help the NBA as far as the casual fan.

It won’t be an instantaneous revival of basketball in New York, but the changes that have been made, at the very least, make the future of Knick basketball much less bleak, if not bright. There will still probably be ugly nights next year, in which Knick fans will cringe, but every team has those, and Walsh and D’Antoni will be a good pair for the Knicks. I for one am anxious to see what the next move the Knicks make is and as a NBA fan I can’t wait to see how they do next year.

05-12-2008, 11:06 PM
Nice debut blog, kegger. The fact is, things are gonna get worse (yes, it's possible) before they will get better for the Knicks. However, things will get better eventually, especially if they can land Rose or Beasley. They've got plenty of young role players, but they need someone to lead them in the future.

05-13-2008, 10:42 AM
But guess what: He doesn't have Steve Nash, Amare Stoudamire, Shawn Marion, and other guys like Grant Hill, Leandro Barbosa, and Raja Bell among others in New York. Plus, New York's team is fully of hugely inflated contracts that no one is going to want.

The only saving grace the Knicks have is the fact that they play in the Eastern Conference, where mediocrity still can get you the #7 or #8 seed!!

06-10-2008, 05:27 PM
I'm wondering what Mike D'Antoni is planning on doing with that Knicks roster. He has a run and gun system and most of them can't handle that style of play. My guess is that he will try to work around what's there and I won't be surprised if he starts dealing players around the league. He's already stated he wants to deal Stephon Marbury so we'll see if it happens or not.

06-10-2008, 11:31 PM
Whoever changed the title of this thread is wrong. It's Isiah in this case.

06-11-2008, 07:16 AM
I think that Mike will do a great job, but let's be serious, it will take him a few years before the team can turn around, are New York fans ready to wait? If the rumours are truth, he will try to get Diaw and Barbosa from the Suns, for Marbury, that would be a gread deal for the Knicks.

06-11-2008, 07:22 AM
I think that Mike will do a great job, but let's be serious, it will take him a few years before the team can turn around, are New York fans ready to wait? If the rumours are truth, he will try to get Diaw and Barbosa from the Suns, for Marbury, that would be a gread deal for the Knicks.

Frank Costanza
10-10-2008, 04:44 PM
mikes the right man for the job, already see progress during the preseason game against the raps, he has them running and playing a quick style, defence isnt his forte and will be probably the biggest weakness of this knicks squad, if he keeps them focused and can beat some of the lower ranked teams in the nba, maybe steal a couple agaisnt playoff ranked ones who knows maybe the knicks are fighting for 8th with mil and mia come the last month