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Thread: No joke: D'Antoni has Knicks thinking D

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    Media No joke: D'Antoni has Knicks thinking D

    This should be our focus going forward. A little defense goes a long way.

    Defense wins championships. So we can stop fantasizing about an NBA title coming near Broadway in June right now.

    No matter what the New York Knicks did against the pathetic Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night at the Garden -- nearly surrendering a 22-point lead before running them out of the building in their fourth and final meeting of the season the way they failed to do in their previous three meetings -- the feelings of most folks haven't changed about coach Mike D'Antoni.


    He's still seen as a coach who's fiery and frenetic, an entertaining high-wire act whose offense is suspenseful, if nothing else, but whose defense is so porous at times, it's actually offensive. Yet as the Knicks get set to participate in their first postseason since 2004, igniting a frenzy unseen since Patrick Ewing and Larry Johnson served as headliners, evidently all the hype and furor destined to arrive in a matter of days has already touched D'Antoni. He's undoubtedly sensed the elevation of heat coming his way about these Knicks, and his uncertain future as their coach.

    "To be honest, defense is all we're concentrating on," D'Antoni exhaled, forcing his bottom lip and eyes to bulge. "Offense comes easy. But defensively, it's what we're really concentrating on. And again, with younger guys and guys that are more comfortable with offense than defense, we do play small. We spread the floor. We play a smaller team, a faster team, because we believe we'll put up a lot of points and it gives us the best chance to win. Obviously, sometimes we pay a price for that."

    How about most of the time?

    There's no need to belabor the point that the Knicks are just bad defensively. You can be a .500 team (38-38). You can have victories over Miami, Orlando and San Antonio on your résumé. But the harsh realities are inescapable: The Knicks surrender more than 106 points per game. They rank in the bottom five of the league religiously. They yield 47 percent shooting to opponents -- which means most people who take two shots against them usually make one -- and their definition of a defensive presence is Jared Jeffries.

    Yes! That Jared Jeffries!

    I would tell folks to stop laughing, but the thought of the Knicks beating one of the four teams they're scheduled to meet in the first round (Miami, Chicago, Orlando or Boston) is downright comical. Even with Carmelo Anthony exhibiting effort and Chauncey Billups preaching its importance to the success of this team, defense has been this team's Achilles heel.

    Partially because the Knicks can't play much of it.

    Primarily because they show even less interest in doing so.

    As a result, the rumblings have begun about D'Antoni's future, and whether he's the right man for the job. Should D'Antoni be shown the exit after this season? What qualifies as a proper measuring stick for the job he's doing now?

    Some have even argued that while D'Antoni didn't really have a team his first two years -- that the previous two seasons were all about clearing cap space for the LeBron James sweepstakes in 2010 -- no coach in this city's history has ever been given a two-year pass before severe skepticism was thrown in his direction.

    "I know a lot of people will laugh and ridicule me for saying this, but we actually play fairly good defense on the first possessions," D'Antoni said, prophetically pointing out the levity in such a statement. "After that, it's long rebounds, second-chance points and sometimes we do play too fast and our offense gets out of sync. Plus teams get out and run on us. But we're going to get it done because we know -- we do know -- that with good defense we can win."

    True. The problem, however, is that it's always been true for D'Antoni, who averaged 58 wins and registered two 60-win seasons in four years at Phoenix, but never visited the NBA finals.

    "The reason why we didn't win a title in Phoenix is because our defense wasn't good enough," D'Antoni explained. "That's a fact. That's a fair, critical assessment of our team. I was there. I know that was the problem. But here's the thing: Did anybody really think when we started that we were going to win the title? They had us not making the playoffs, then we won 62 games. Well, I understand our defense needed to be better, but at the same time we were maximizing our talents, what we did best, and we won 62 games.

    "The only thing I hate -- and again, I know this sounds like an excuse -- is how folks forget that Joe Johnson broke bones in his face and the third year, Amare [Stoudemire] comes back from his injury, but the hip-check incident [with Robert Horry and Steve Nash] takes place, prompting the suspensions, and we ultimately lose that series.

    "So now, believe me, I understand where folks are coming from. I know we need to continue to get better defensively. I've got to do a better job of getting them to hone in. If I do it, all this noise will go away."

    And if the Knicks don't hone in, whatever that means?

    "I know the deal," D'Antoni deadpanned. "Trust me, I know."
    There you go... straight from the horses mouth, now KnicksFanSince and others who try and spin the truth can stfu.

    I told you guys (especially those who don't reside in the city) we won't settle, we know what's needed, and until we get what we want (defense), no one is safe!

    Glad to see Mike realizes this too. This is his opportunity.

    Not that i expect a 180 in the playoffs- but remember in the playoffs everyone starts 0-0, so for this part of the season MIKE CAN SHOW AN IMPROVEMENT relative to the teams participating.

    Going forward, EVERY MOVE WILL BE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE and THE MEASURING STICK AND STANDARDS WILL BE IF THE DEFENSE CAN IMPROVE, with that (in the playoffs or next year which may be shortened) we will really see a transformation, more than any other change we implement. DEFENSE!

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    Originally Posted by Red
    This should be our focus going forward. A little defense goes a long way.



    There you go... straight from the horses mouth, now KnicksFanSince and others who try and spin the truth can stfu.

    I told you guys (especially those who don't reside in the city) we won't settle, we know what's needed, and until we get what we want (defense), no one is safe!

    Glad to see Mike realizes this too. This is his opportunity.

    Not that i expect a 180 in the playoffs- but remember in the playoffs everyone starts 0-0, so for this part of the season MIKE CAN SHOW AN IMPROVEMENT relative to the teams participating.

    Going forward, EVERY MOVE WILL BE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE and THE MEASURING STICK AND STANDARDS WILL BE IF THE DEFENSE CAN IMPROVE, with that (in the playoffs or next year which may be shortened) we will really see a transformation, more than any other change we implement. DEFENSE!

    Great thread...
    bout time he admits it. If he has to stay next year, id still like a proven defensive coach added to the staff even if it means bye bye to herb.

    our coach claims he open to it(on the michael Kay show) but says it would also mean that the coaching staff "doesnt have a clue". thats the part i struggle with. were not sayin you dont have a clue. your just no got at it.

    im also glad that he admitted that phx wasnt good defensively when he was there... its amazing how poster on this site try to spin "PHX was good defensively" under him.....

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    Great thread...
    bout time he admits it. If he has to stay next year, id still like a proven defensive coach added to the staff even if it means bye bye to herb.

    our coach claims he open to it(on the michael Kay show) but says it would also mean that the coaching staff "doesnt have a clue". thats the part i struggle with. were not sayin you dont have a clue. your just no got at it.

    im also glad that he admitted that phx wasnt good defensively when he was there... its amazing how poster on this site try to spin "PHX was good defensively" under him.....
    Admitting is the first step.

    If he really admits this to himself, he'll realize the squandered opportunities he had in players like Randolph, Brewer, etc...

    this situation being in NY and all, can actually help motivate coach to implement better defense; players, assistants, approach included.

    The $6mil per doesn't hurt also. If he can get us to play a reasonable brand of defense during the playoffs he should be good for next year.

    and yeah, getting help doesn't equal "they don't have a clue"- actually its the opposite, just as replacing him doesn't mean everything was his fault. Distinctions.

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    Originally Posted by Red
    Admitting is the first step.

    If he really admits this to himself, he'll realize the squandered opportunities he had in players like Randolph, Brewer, etc...

    this situation being in NY and all, can actually help motivate coach to implement better defense; players, assistants, approach included.

    The $6mil per doesn't hurt also. If he can get us to play a reasonable brand of defense during the playoffs he should be good for next year.

    and yeah, getting help doesn't equal "they don't have a clue"- actually its the opposite, just as replacing him doesn't mean everything was his fault. Distinctions.

    i still think he is talking out the side of his mouth, is he doing this for a contract extension? if we had to keep him... id still would make him play out his contract first, before an extension.

    what happen to earl barron.. dont we need a big

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    Mike has been preaching Defense since the beginning of last year. This is not new. You can go back and look at threads and stories from the beginning of that season and see how he wanted a concerted effort on defense and stressed it. He has known that his teams need to improve defensively since his time with the Suns. He has been stressing defense from the beginning of this season, talked about it all off-season. when we signed Amarr'e the first thing that came up between the two? Defense.

    Now that we are going into the playoffs everything will be scrutinized as you say. It is refreshing for me to see him revisit his Phoenix days and admit that defense was the teams problem. He knows that we run a small team and spread the floor, it's designed that way. But he knows that the players he has now are capable of playing good defense and even show that, particularly in the early possessions of each quarter. He is taking the responsibility and accountibility of being the coach. He admits that HE needs to get these players to hone in on defense. He also mentions that offense comes easy for these players and that we are made up of players that prefer to play offense. So he has his work cut out for him. But he is aware of what is at stake in these playoffs.

    I told you guys (especially those who don't reside in the city) we won't settle, we know what's needed, and until we get what we want (defense), no one is safe!
    I thought we wanted a 'chip? I love defense as much as the next knicks fan. I was a big Larry Johnson and Pat Ewing fan. I love hard nose, in your face, protect the paint defense. More then I love that, I love winning. In my lifetime I've never experienced the joy of having my favorite team in pro sports win a 'chip. Whatever it takes to that end I fully support.

    Certainly getting stops is an important facet of the game but we didn't win a 'chip in the 90's largely because we lacked the firepower to complement our tenacious D.

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    You make strong points p0nder.

    Mike HAS been talking D'. None of this was "anything new"; especially considering the fact that both Melo & MDA have been stressing & preaching effort & team D' since the trade. That wasn't the 1st time I read MDA talking PHX struggles on defense either.

    Before a coach can form a top 10 defense, he must first stress it; but it's hard to form a top 15 defense, let alone a top 10 D' when TD23 (only a 2nd year player) is now known as the Knicks longest tenured player. Gallo was our only returning starter from last year with the pre-trade team & to make it worse? 60 % of our starting 5 has been here for less than 25 games without time to gel with a full offseason of training camp, practice(s) as well as an entire preseason of forming chemistry. Same goes for guys like JJ, Shelden & Carter who were all thrown into the fire. It won't come over night, but the effort is there; which is a great building block. Even #7 is playing regular season defense, which is something nice to see.

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    Speaking of a contract extension, I wouldn't be shocked to see MDA get an extension any day now. MDA's agent was @ the Knicks practice facility the other day. That's not the norm.

    I agree, it's great to see MDA not only knowing but also understanding that we need to improve on defense inorder to win a championship. I mean, even if we can form a top 15 defense, with our explosive offense? That could be more than enough to win us our first championship since 1972 next season.

    We may have dropped the ball on AR, but that still doesn't change the fact that we've played 6 different players @ the Center position this year (most in the league) in Turiaf, Amare, Mozgov (rookie), JJ, Shawne & now Shelden.

    Those are all signs that A) Mike has been unhappy (without throwing players under the bus) with the lack of production out of the 5 hole & B) Walsh will land us a talented BIG. Not an AR type of young project; but a proven, quality type of NBA starting Center this offseason. An athletic DeAndre comes to mind.

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    He's not getting one before the playoffs end.

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    Fail.

    *already posted
    *already discussed
    *horse is dead, autopsy says beaten
    *MDA quotes don't show anything new that people in the know haven't already known; and further prove you are wrong, and others have been about MDA

    Fail.

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    Originally Posted by iSaYughh
    Fail.

    *already posted
    *already discussed
    *horse is dead, autopsy says beaten
    *MDA quotes don't show anything new that people in the know haven't already known; and further prove you are wrong, and others have been about MDA

    Fail.
    My favourite part was him not bolding "no one expected us to make the playoffs and we won 62 games and that it was a case of maximising talents, or what us supposedly pro MDA people were saying.

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    Originally Posted by WrongIslander
    My favourite part was him not bolding "no one expected us to make the playoffs and we won 62 games and that it was a case of maximising talents, or what us supposedly pro MDA people were saying.
    I know, we are not pro MDA, we are pro truth. Had people been writing threads that Hitler took over London, had 3 arms and was a Buddist only to have us correct the record I'm sure they would call us "pro Hitler"...

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    Exactly. He maximized the talent he had.

    -Nash has always been trash on D.

    -You think Amare is bad now? He was horrible back then coming STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL".

    -Joe was nothing to write home about on defense.

    -The trade for Shaq (that MDA was against) ruined that PHX team & cost them their best overall defender in the Matrix.

    -PHX had a couple solid defensive players here & there but not enough to even crack the top 20.

    Here in NY? We have potential to form a top 15 maybe even top 10 D next year with the addition of a FA C + a rebounder.

    TD23 is an excellent defender who can attack the head of the offensive attack (the PG).

    Fields is only a rookie & turning into an outstanding peremeter defender. Can only improve from here on out.

    Melo is a top 5 defensive SF when he's focused on playing with effort. Melo is playing regular season defense when many around here said he never would under MDA.

    Amare leads the team in boards & ranks top 10 in block shots. Add a talented C & Amare IMPROVES....

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    Originally Posted by WrongIslander
    My favourite part was him not bolding "no one expected us to make the playoffs and we won 62 games and that it was a case of maximising talents, or what us supposedly pro MDA people were saying.
    I too found it interesting what stuff the OP elected to bold versus what he elected not to bold.

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    Originally Posted by KBlack25
    I too found it interesting what stuff the OP elected to bold versus what he elected not to bold.

    its two fold..

    first... O'antoni is a below average defensive coach

    second.. becuse he choses to play a smaller lineup.. make us vunerable on defense..

    im tired of people pointin to personel.. when the personal he chooses to use.. are undersized.. and more suited to take advantage on the offensive end.. while giving up more on the defensive end...

    "we do play small. We spread the floor. We play a smaller team, a faster team, because we believe we'll put up a lot of points and it gives us the best chance to win. Obviously, sometimes we pay a price for that." O'antoni

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    its two fold..

    first... O'antoni is a below average defensive coach

    second.. becuse he choses to play a smaller lineup.. make us vunerable on defense..

    im tired of people pointin to personel.. when the personal he chooses to use.. are undersized.. and more suited to take advantage on the offensive end.. while giving up more on the defensive end...

    "we do play small. We spread the floor. We play a smaller team, a faster team, because we believe we'll put up a lot of points and it gives us the best chance to win. Obviously, sometimes we pay a price for that." O'antoni
    What "big" players would you have D'ant play that he currently doesn't?

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