• There are also indications that Brooklyn isn't viewed as the only avenue for Howard to give Adidas a foothold in New York. With the Knicks (2-4) off to an abysmal start -- losing at home to Toronto and Charlotte this week on the second night of back-to-backs for both substandard teams -- already there are rumblings of discord on the coaching staff. The confusion and lack of commitment to new defensive assistant Mike Woodson's schemes is painfully evident -- "We're trying to improvise on the fly, and you can't do that," defensive stalwart Tyson Chandler said -- as is the tenuous situation for head coach Mike D'Antoni. If the acquisition of Anthony last February wasn't evidence enough, the addition of Woodson has only underscored how D'Antoni's influence within the organization has waned. D'Antoni is coaching in the final year of his contract without an extension offer forthcoming, an issue that threatens to consume whatever momentum the Knicks built last season.
If the Knicks keep struggling, the focus will spread from the coaching to the roster, and sources advise not to be surprised if the notion of a possible deal sending Amar'e Stoudemire to Orlando for Howard gains traction. If the Magic opt to convert Howard into a superstar of reasonably comparable stature, they could do a lot worse than selling Stoudemire -- a central Florida native -- to their restless fan base. The biggest issue would be Stoudemire's uninsurable knees, but there is risk involved in every scenario Orlando will be presented with between now and March 15. From the Knicks' standpoint, such an arrangement would break up the ill-fitting offensive combo of Stoudemire and Anthony and allow the versatile Chandler to move to the power forward spot, where he'd be a terror as a weak-side shot blocker and in Stoudemire's spot as the roll man in D'Antoni's pick-and-roll offense. A deeper question exists in whether Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan would sign off on trading Stoudemire, who was the only star willing to commit to the Knicks and embrace the challenges of New York in July 2010. For the aforementioned reasons, sources say it's plausible but unlikely that the Knicks and Orlando would be able to get any such talks off the ground. For one thing, it makes too much sense.