It’s time for the New York Knicks to make changes, because what they’re doing at the moment isn’t working.
New Yorkers love their sport. While most American cities are happy with a team in each of the major sports, New York will always demand two.
Despite the fact the New York Knicks have only two championships to their name, haven’t been to a finals since 1999 and recently went six seasons without play-off basketball, until recently they were regarded as the most valuable franchise in the NBA.
Madison Square Garden is considered the Mecca of basketball. You can pretty much name any star player and I bet they will have had a big game there — it’s a favourite venue for most players.
It’s also one of those venues where the crowd are into the game from the opening tip to the final hooter — even during the regular season.
The Knicks have a squad which on paper should have at least won the Atlantic division this season. You can’t blame the fact they didn’t on their injury problems as without them there would not have been Linsanity.
Two genuine stars in Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, a young, exciting point guard in Jeremy Lin and ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ Tyson Chandler — form the core of the Knicks’ roster.
They also have an exciting rookie in Iman Shumpert, as well as sharp-shooter Steve Novak and the veteran guard Baron Davis, amongst others. And, of course, Jeremy Lin (above).
It’s not a championship-winning squad by a long way, but it’s one that contains enough pieces to be much better than they are.
The problem lies with Stoudemire and Anthony, and it’s because of these two the Knicks are one game away from being swept in the first round for the second straight year.
It seems they can’t co-exist with each other and play far better when the other is not on the floor.
Sometimes, Carmelo Anthony can be the most exciting player on the floor and capable of making amazing plays, but then he can also be a ball-hog and prefer to run an isolation than pass to a team-mate in a better position.
He wants to be the man, but then so does Stoudemire.
Speaking of Stoudemire, his numbers have been down right across the board this season and he has been nothing like the player he was last year. He won’t have helped his cause with the fire extinguisher incident which may have ruled him out for the rest of the play-offs.
What amazes me is that these two guys have not worked out the obvious. Did they not take any notice of what happened in Boston and Miami?
When major stars come to the same team, the only way that team will be successful is if they sacrifice part of their game for the good of the team.
But neither Anthony or Stoudemire have bought in and I wonder if they ever will.
So what can the Knicks do if they don’t buy in? Well, the easy option would be to move either Anthony or Stoudemire, but with the money they’re getting from the Knicks, there’s very little chance of being able to trade away either player.
The only other thing they could do, and I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking this way, is to jettison coach Mike Woodson.
It’s not a slight on Woodson, he’s doing the best he can, but the Knicks need a coach who is able to get everyone to pay attention and buy into a system. I haven’t seen proof Woodson is that guy.
The name being bandied about is none other than Phil Jackson and it’s easy to see why with his championship pedigree.
Coaching the Knicks would be a return ‘home’ for Jackson, who during his playing days was on both of the Knicks’ championship winning teams.
If the Knicks want to move forward as a franchise, they really need to act fast.
If Jackson was to return to the Knicks, it’ll come at a hefty price, but it might just be a price worth paying…
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