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Thread: D'Antoni commits to toning down act with NBA referees + Sets Goal of 40 wins

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    Nyk Logo D'Antoni commits to toning down act with NBA referees + Sets Goal of 40 wins

    Mike D'Antoni has made a vow that has nothing to do with [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] or pledging to turn the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] into winners this season.
    For D'Antoni, the goal is much more modest.

    Starting when the Knicks open the season Wednesday night in [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], their coach is committed to toning down his act with the officials.

    "I've got to do a better job controlling myself with the refs," D'Antoni said Sunday. "I think that it just transfers negative energy to the team. We don't need that. So I'm going to make an effort to be not as emotional with them as I have been."

    The regular refs were locked out all of preseason in a contract dispute, so D'Antoni wasn't able to show his mellow side to them during exhibition play. But he seems just as eager to prove he can control his emotions as he does proving that the Knicks can be a much better defensive team this season.

    "I think I will do a better job with the refs," he said. "This is now our second year and our guys know what I'm looking for. So I won't be out there going crazy like I have been at times. I hope not to be yelling and screaming a lot."

    Then D'Antoni smiled and laughed: "But we'll see how long that lasts."

    As he showed in his first season in New York, when his team won only 32 games, D'Antoni's emotions can sometimes get the best of him. But he still knows when to cool it. Last season, he picked up only five technicals, far fewer than the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]' [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who led all coaches with 15, and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]'s [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who had the second-most with 13.

    Clearly, D'Antoni doesn't want to be as demonstrative when calls go against the Knicks, who have posted losing records in each of the last eight seasons, the longest such stretch in the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. At least he and his peers won't have to learn what they can get away with, in terms of arguing, with replacement refs. Late Friday, the 57 regular refs voted to accept a two-year deal and return for the start of the season tomorrow night.

    "I'm happy it's worked out for them," D'Antoni said. "But it's always a cat-and-dog situation. That's just life. I don't think Knicks ever foul."

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    The way [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] sees it, there's life after 40. So that's the target he's set for his team this season.

    "However it ends up, somehow we've got to get in the 40s with the wins," D'Antoni said after a very competitive practice Saturday at the MSG Training Center. "And that should be in the playoffs."

    The team opens the franchise's 64th season Wednesday against the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], dragging a five-season playoff drought in tow. It's the second-longest run without a postseason berth in franchise history, and it has been even longer since the team has hit the 40-win mark. The [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - who are owned by [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], which also owns Newsday - were 48-34 in 2000-01.

    D'Antoni's team went 32-50 last season and did very little to upgrade the roster for a season in which the priority is to maintain salary-cap space for a major run in free agency next summer. But D'Antoni believes that even in an improved Eastern Conference - which includes three of the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]'s best teams in the Celtics, Cavaliers and Magic - his group of young players and expiring-contract veterans has enough to make at least an eight-game improvement over last season.

    "Compared to last year, how we made three trades and lost a lot of games in the end, a lot of injuries, from winning 32?" D'Antoni said. "Yeah, I think it's a realistic goal."

    He sees an opportunity to reach the playoffs in the lower seeds. "The last two or three spots are kind of up for grabs for a lot of teams," he said. "That's where we'd love to jump in there."

    Last season, the Pistons needed 39 wins to clinch the final playoff berth and the 76ers earned the seventh seed with a 41-41 record.

    D'Antoni's up-tempo, ball-movement system will generate open shots and extra possessions, which should keep the team competitive as long as it improves on its field-goal percentage (39.5) in the preseason, which is not a given.

    But can the system that once won 62 games with a loaded [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] roster take a less heralded Knicks lineup to 40? "If we tighten up our defense and take better shots," D'Antoni said, "yeah, we'll be in the 40s."

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    Veteran DontForgetDerekHarper's Avatar
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    -----45----37------

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    Wishful thinking.

    Can't see it right now though.

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    Originally Posted by Superfly
    ...should keep the team competitive as long as it improves on its field-goal percentage (39.5) in the preseason, which is not a given.
    Yikes!

    Winning 8 more games seems achievable if the Knicks manage to finish out the close ones, which requires them to play a bit of defense in the last 5 minutes.

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    Newbie Knickslife031's Avatar
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    I believe we can win more than 40 games if we play DEFENSE I upper cases that because we didn't play that last year at all. We can out score any team I'm the league why cause we were the number 1 scoring team last season so if we play real hard DEFENSE we are good to go to make things happen.

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    Unhappy 60-40 on Walsh making a trade to lower salary cap

    I can not bet-money in the Poll of Knicks wins this season....

    I trust Nate, Duhon, Chandler, Lee, and the two rookies defense for a 36 to 41 win season.
    But I dont trust coach Dantoni favoriticism, personal feelings, and what he did to the team after he traded for Larry Hughes.
    Plus how can anyone trust Walsh with his 2010 plan.....all players are subject to be traded to lower the salary-cap. Especially if the team starts winning consistently.

    40 wins is the last thing on Donnie Walsh mind when over half the players on the roster are expiring contracts to "showcase" to trade Eddy Curry for an expiring T-Mac, Amare, or any expiring player the next team dont want.

    The Phoenix Suns would have less headaches if they get rid of Amare & Nash whom dont have the controlling leadership Shaun "Matrix" Marion had on all the Suns players. Curry, Lee, Chandler, and Nate for headache Amare & Nash
    That is the Bullshuuut we will have to deal with this season

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    40 is a realistic goal for this team. It's better to set a bar anyway because it gets the team focused on what they need to be reaching towards. Any motivational tool works at this point

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    too bad...i liked a fired up D'Antoni...he was the exact opposite of the quiet shy isiah Thomas.

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