Interesting piece from Tommy Dee at SNY's the Knicksblog.com
The Difference is Toughness…
by Tommy Dee on March 5th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
"What sets the bar, for me, in terms of where the Knicks are at is their team toughness within the conference. That doesn’t mean the physical nature necessarily, but it does mean mental toughness for sure. Alright, both are synonymous for the purposes of this discussion.
Yesterday, the Knicks were weak mentally, especially at the point guard position. Too many missed opportunities. Too many bad passes. TKB regular Jake Nussbaum brought up a great point…
@TommyDeeTKB great job on the spreecast TD...i definitely think the team is missing a certain toughness...it stems from Dantoni
March 4, 2012 9:36 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite
To me, the biggest difference between this group and the 99 team is that the players won’t run through a wall for D’Antoni right now. Will that change as the move towards the playoffs? We will see. If they don’t then he will be gone, there’s no question of that. There is no middle ground.
What we saw yesterday, and what we saw in Miami were the Knicks getting pushed around by veteran defensive units. In the 3rd quarter they were forced into tough and awkward shots and the got zero second chances. Miami and Boston are playoff teams who have built toughness through togetherness longer than the Knicks have. The time to step up the toughness and break through the lack of a foul call while finishing a layup, or holding your ground instead of reacting to contact on a loose ball rebound is over. Imposing your will on the game has to start now.
The Celtics just looked tougher than the Knicks, particularly when it comes to the two superstars we’re paying all that money to. The Knicks seem to lack, so far anyway, that spine-stiffener that the Celtics have, and have had for the last half-decade. The Knicks best find it soon. They’re a game under .500 and have road games against San Antonio and Dallas in the next three days. Most of all, they’ll have to try to forget yesterday’s game as soon as possible. We hope they have better luck than we have.
True. Or this thing could slip away very, very quickly."
He makes a point, this team fails to show tough skin and continues to choke time and time again, even with these players that are all stars. The Celtics beat us time and time again because of toughness and execution. I would disagree that we have soft players but I would agree that this team won't run through a wall for D'Antoni, he simply doesn't command enough influence like a Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, etc has done. I have never liked Mike D but seeing him get outcoached by Doc Rivers everytime is making me sick. The 3rd quarter, scoring only 16t points and giving up 29...is UNACCEPTABLE and it is amazing how it happened right after a pretty good first half if you exclude the turnovers. I just don't see this team going anywhere with this coach. When Melo, Amare, or Chandler start letting emotions get to them, is Mike D going to set them straight? NO because he doesn't hold players accountable. He doesn't have balls and I don't see how we can win with a no balls coach leading this team that NEEDS a motivational coach. You guys can say what you want.