"We're just not getting enough good plays. We're just not playing well enough." -- Mike D'Antoni
"It doesn't matter if I start or come off the bench. Either role, I know whenever I'm in the game, I have to make an impact to help this team." -- Toney Douglas
"The most disappointing thing is I came into this season with high hopes and I still have them. It's disappointing." -- David Lee
The theme of this game is simply a continuation of the last one: Knicks moving closer to a new starting point guard in Toney Douglas. Toney Douglas is a rookie meant for the NBA game. We don't know if he is a starter, but he is now the best point guard on the team as Duhon seems resigned to be lousy -- a little bit worse than he usually plays. Dukiehon is showing little effort as he watches his job slip away. Still, D'Antoni is rightfully reluctant to totally bench his poor point project.
Why? Hopefully, we'll talk about this more later, but despite Duhon's deficiencies, D'Antoni built his team around Duhon as a leader. Now D'Antoni finds himself in the very difficult position of not just changing rotations but rebuilding the psychological make-up of the team now after dethroning his vet leader. Turning everything over to Douglas is really an admission of poor judgment (giving reins to Dookiehon) in the first place, but as most of you would say, not to change now is like throwing good money after bad. Douglas as starting point is inevitable. The best 'Antoni can hope for is to play Dukiehon at the two and have him regain his confidence as a shooter.
The thing that gets me is that the best way for Duhon to regain his confidence (and this is easy as shytting with diarrhea) is for him to do nothing but drive for a full quarter every game. Go to the hole and get fouled, shoot a couple of shallow water jumpers, lean his body into defenders and get freebies. Score easily, get to the line and don't pass the damn ball on an open shot. I crack on Dukiehon, but I want him to do well. This is not freakin' rocket science or CSI. If he does what I am telling him and continues to practice his tre between games -- practice like he wants to play -- then he will regain his mojo. Shoot, Bronx said his daughters show more skill than Duhon and he's not lying because he taught them right.
As for D'Antoni, you might as well forget about it. He's not the right coach and he was not prepared for this season. He's doing his off-season, training camp work now. Nine games in and he is on his 4th starting line-up. That is nothing less than a sign of poor preparation all the way around. Worse is that he had found the answer during training camp, but ignored the obvious because his principles as a players' coach did not match his preparation. He was crunk -- where internal stupidity meets physical expression. (You like that Stuart Scott?)
His staff is also failing to develop their LeBron bait -- Gallo and Chandler. Somebody get Gallo a lawn chair and just let him sit his ass on that concave stripe above the foul line. They don't have him doing much else. Come on, make him active, Get him in the game? Let him run point or get into the pick and roll or throw some in-bound passes up court. You're turning this guy into a total tre-line chump. Writers are complaining that his teammates are ignoring him -- well, duh, that's because he is invisible standing waiting for a pass.
And Chandler is being hurt by taking all those jumpers. What the hell is that big strong body for. Bang some people around. Show some aggression. Leave a game with three fouls used. Hurt somebody. PLEASE don't stay "D'Antoni soft."
Finally, you know that he and Walsh have really screwed up because they refuse to not play Lee at the five. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. We will lose every game to every smart coach that realizes there are free points and bonus points (from fouls) in the paint. It's like we be handing out coupons for NBA victories. Dumb.
I'm out, somebody else supply the statistical proof for me. Have a great day.
Put Backs: The Live Blog hosted by O&B and Lives included visits from Steady, Prince, DLT and Bronx, who promises to be around more often. Very lively discussion on what to do about Duhon during the game. The line of the LBE, I think, came from the producer who stated "Lee's post defense is so suspect he might be served with a search warrant!" . . . .Later when Harrington seemed to hurt himself, Bronx said, "Harrington with the hurt shoulder....nothing a shot attempt won't cure.". . .And Steady had the unanswered query of the night: "OK--so we know who the PG is. By game 20 we should see a set rotation and a game predicateD by insiDe-outsiDe play featuring Curry n Gallo. Thoughts Fellas?". . . I tell you, for a person with some NBA skill, Duhon shows no heart or urgency. How could he be so willing (or resigned) to turn over his job to the rookie? The worst times are when leaders and fighters need to step up most to become winners. . . .If I can find the time to type it up, our next lecturer in the Leadership Series will be Bill Bradley. His take on leadership explains exactly why D'Antoni has blown this season. Exactly. . . .We hit 100 Tweeps on Twitter today. A Milestone. We must be living right. Yeah, I know. Someone has 33,000. They must be living large.