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Thread: Be careful Mike: 'Melo chants can quickly turn to calls for your job

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    TYPE-A Red's Avatar
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    Media Be careful Mike: 'Melo chants can quickly turn to calls for your job

    It doesn't matter that Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni probably is right, that his team is being granted no favors by the constant specter of Carmelo Anthony's shadow looming over everything they do or don't do -- or will do or won't do -- from here to the trading deadline in 12 days.
    "It affects the players," he said Thursday afternoon, "without a doubt."
    OK. Point taken. But here's something D'Antoni really ought to consider starting now: The choruses that fill the Garden mostly fall in one of two categories: there is the "M-V-P!" chant that Amar'e Stoudemire hears five or six times a game, mostly when he makes a hard move and gets to the foul line.

    And there is the "We want 'Melo!" chant.
    What D'Antoni hasn't heard -- at least not yet -- is the third kind of chant that Garden fans have come armed with before and haven't had the heart to unleash. Yet.
    One that sounds like this:
    "Fire D'Antoni!" Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap . . .
    "Fire D'Antoni!" Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap . . .

    And, yes, with minimal effort, that chant can be squeezed into four syllables for optimum effect. And it probably took the 19,763 who came to the Garden last night their last few shards of patience to keep from unveiling it at some point during the Lakers' thorough 113-96 schooling of the Knicks, a game whose final score could have been any set of numbers that Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson's nostalgic heart desired.
    That isn't to say D'Antoni should be fired. Consider it a timely reminder that he has been given an extraordinarily lengthy honeymoon by a city that has a fleeting tolerance for lousy results. You can explain away his first two years any way you like. The truth is that in other barren times, with similarly barren teams, Rich Kotite, Ray Handley and Art Howe were already gone this deep in their New York tenures.
    So it wouldn't be unprecedented for D'Antoni to feel heat. He just hasn't felt any -- yet.
    But as much as anyone, D'Antoni needs to show something across the season's final 29 games, starting tonight in Newark against the Nets, but really starting after the one-game-in-10-days mini-bye the Knicks will enjoy thereafter. Whether the Knicks ultimately deal for Anthony is irrelevant to this matter. This is relevant: The Knicks are paying $6 million a year for D'Antoni and so far the best they've seen is the 26-26 mark they'll drag across the river tonight.
    And it's time someone said it: They should be better than that right now.
    Nobody sane talked about winning a championship this year, just like nobody much expected the Knicks to beat the defending world champs last night. It's the too-frequent-lately no-shows against lesser teams that fry the nerves now, home losses to the likes of the Kings and the Suns and the Clippers, and the fact that until last night, the Cavaliers' only win since two days after Thanksgiving was against the Knicks.
    The Garden mostly has bought into D'Antoni, mostly believed in him, the faithful have been as patient as any true believers around here have ever been. D'Antoni is smart enough to know that, smart enough to realize he's been given an amazingly long rope.
    But he really needs to be careful. Because even if he didn't mean to imply that Knicks fans ought to shut up, it certainly could be interpreted that way. And some already did. If that's how D'Antoni feels, if it's what he believes, he has every right to speak his mind. One of the courtside visitors last night, a fellow named Rex Ryan, certainly would endorse that.
    But it's worth noting that when Ryan's smiling face was flashed on the video board last night, the Jets coach looking resplendent in a throwback No. 10 Clyde Frazier jersey, he received a far louder ovation than anything D'Antoni has heard in a long time, maybe going back to his first home game 2 years ago.
    No coach in recent memory has been given this long a pass without hearing a rebuttal from the disaffected masses. And that's something that could go away in a hurry.
    Such as, the instant the fans grow tired of chanting for Carmelo Anthony's acquisition . . . and start chanting for the coach's departure instead.


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    Getting Melo won't really matter without removing this coach.

    Flaws have been exposed.

    Limitations are apparent.

    Conclusions have been reached.

    Last edited by Red; Feb 12, 2011 at 08:34.

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    TYPE-A Red's Avatar
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    NEW YORK -- The scoreboard is the game's only infallible judge, and it said Mike D'Antoni had pushed the wrong human buttons. He ripped his team the other night, defended it against chanting fans the next day, and then watched his New York Knicks rent their cherished building to Kobe Bryant, who was free to do with it as he pleased.

    Go ahead and give D'Antoni another pass; he's used to getting them. These were the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers after all, led by Bryant, a transcendent star with a credible chance to end up as a greater winner than Michael Jordan.

    Nobody could expect the Knicks to defeat the much bigger, much better Lakers, right?

    Only this is the NBA, where even sub-mediocre teams are supposed to win -- or at least compete like hell -- at home, no matter the identity of the visiting team. You might have heard the Cleveland Cavaliers won a game at home Friday night. They beat the Los Angeles Clippers, the same crew that just embarrassed the Knicks on the Garden floor.

    D'Antoni called his team on its gutless performance Wednesday night, then spent Thursday applying ice to the wound, informing the home fans who were chanting for Carmelo Anthony that his players didn't appreciate the sentiment or the sound.

    It's always a dangerous game for a coach to play, telling the paying customers how to react to your unsatisfying product, but play it D'Antoni did. Maybe he was just trying to protect his guys. Maybe he was letting the Knicks know he was still on their side.

    Either way, this Lakers game would be something of a referendum under the Friday night lights. Would the Knicks respond to their coach? Would they at least make the Lakers bleed a little before bowing to their overwhelming size and skill?

    As it turned out, the Knicks played an inspired brand of basketball for four full minutes, taking an eight-point lead on Raymond Felton's alley and Danilo Gallinari's oop. Nobody was chanting for Anthony then. The Garden felt as alive as it did in the Nineties, when Phil Jackson's Bulls tried to fly over the punishing likes of Ewing and Mason and Oak.

    But then Bryant became Bryant and Jordan at the same time, draining three 3-pointers before facing up Gallinari near the Lakers' bench, freezing him with three crossover dribbles and then a between-the-legs dribble for good measure before rising up to make a jumper that left the Garden crowd going oooooooh.

    Bryant nailed an absurd turnaround over Felton to beat the buzzer, his 18th and 19th points of the first quarter. Bryant finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds in fewer than 29 minutes of play, and his Lakers won by a 113-96 count.

    "Kobe definitely took us out of our game," D'Antoni explained. "Took our heart a little bit."

    Yes, their heart. Los Angeles was coming off an emotional victory in Boston the night before, the Knicks were desperate after losing 10 of their previous 14 games, and yet a predictable flurry of Bryant baskets was enough to take their heart.

    D'Antoni wasn't about to trash his team's effort for a second straight game, not when that kind of talk ultimately gets a coach fired. (It is a coach's core responsibility, of course, to field an inspired team.) So D'Antoni focused this time on the Knicks' on-court intellect, or lack thereof.

    "We're not playing real smart," he said.

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    But here's the thing: D'Antoni isn't coaching real smart, either, and it has little to do with his decision to bench Timofey Mozgov and his 18 points in the fourth quarter against the Clippers.

    This isn't last year or the year before. The Knicks are better than the basketball they've played across the last 15 games, a period that includes home losses to three teams -- the Clippers, Sacramento and Phoenix -- that aren't among the Western Conference's top eight.

    Now the Knicks are a .500 team, a monument to mediocrity. D'Antoni hasn't convinced them to play with urgency or toughness, and if they make the playoffs this year it will say more about the wretched underbelly of the East than it will about the inner resolve of the Knicks.

    "We have not had our swagger for the past two and a half weeks," said Amare Stoudemire, who called Saturday night's game in New Jersey "a must win."

    Yeah, it would be a good idea if the Knicks showed up for that one.

    "Obviously we're not satisfied at all with how it's going," D'Antoni said. "We've got to find ourselves real quick."

    Though a conspicuous courtside guest, Rex Ryan, spent halftime guaranteeing a Super Bowl title next year, D'Antoni wasn't promising anything at the postgame mike.

    Finishing up his alleged last trip to the Garden, Jackson came to the losing coach's aid. "They've made strides this year," he said. "They're playing better ball. They look like they are definitely a playoff team.

    "Everything was going great for them about a month ago ... and it's been a little bit harder right now. But they're going to get it back together again."

    Bryant also called the Knicks' future "bright," but delivered a Melo-to-the-Garden chant of his own. The fans? They actually listened to D'Antoni, kept the Melo stuff off limits, and cut the home team a break.

    The Knicks rewarded them with another non-effort, and a 22-point deficit in the middle of the fourth quarter that sent the loyal customers home.

    What now? D'Antoni had his excuses lined up in Years 1 and 2, when Donnie Walsh handed him a roster designed to fail. But the Year 3 Knicks have some legitimate talent and know-how, and they haven't suffered any crippling injuries to boot.

    So Walsh shouldn't be the only Cablevision employee feeling a little heat right now. Remember, Mike D'Antoni is making $6 million a year. He needs to start living up to his end of that deal.
    It is what it is...
    Logic dictates if he could of done better he would have, he can't.
    Last edited by Red; Feb 12, 2011 at 08:35. Reason: Mike D'Antoni had no answers on the Knicks' sideline Friday night.

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    Veteran AmareForPresident's Avatar
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    Its about time people found out that his sytem is flawed.

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    everybody thinks O'antoni is safe.. I'm sure Isaih is in Dolans ear about that as well..

    Walsh and O'antoni arent even on the same page.. our own GM doesnt agree with this style of play....

    SMH

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    everybody thinks O'antoni is safe.. I'm sure Isaih is in Dolans ear about that as well..

    Walsh and O'antoni arent even on the same page.. our own GM doesnt agree with this style of play....

    SMH

    No rationale person should agree with this style of play.... too much wear and tear on your players and no focus on the two things that keep you in the championship hunt: boards and defense.

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    everybody thinks O'antoni is safe.. I'm sure Isaih is in Dolans ear about that as well..

    Walsh and O'antoni arent even on the same page.. our own GM doesnt agree with this style of play....

    SMH
    D'Antoni is safe for one reason:

    Dolan isn't going to pay D'Antoni not to coach.

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    Originally Posted by KBlack25
    D'Antoni is safe for one reason:

    Dolan isn't going to pay D'Antoni not to coach.
    O'antoni's contract is up at the end of next year...i can easily see Dolan eating the last year and kickin him to the curb at the end of this year...

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    O'antoni's contract is up at the end of next year...i can easily see Dolan eating the last year and kickin him to the curb at the end of this year...
    If we do that, I seriously fear the return of Isiah...Maybe Dolan would kick D'Antoni, but I have no faith in his ability to bring in somebody better.

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    Originally Posted by KBlack25
    If we do that, I seriously fear the return of Isiah...Maybe Dolan would kick D'Antoni, but I have no faith in his ability to bring in somebody better.
    there are a ton of coaches out there than can produce a .500 win team.. cuz thats what we are now

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    Veteran KBlack25's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    there are a ton of coaches out there than can produce a .500 win team.. cuz thats what we are now
    So you would support bringing in a coach that would keep us the exact same while having the owner pay two head coaches for a year? That doesn't make much sense to me...losing D'Antoni only helps if we bring in someone that IMPROVES the team. I have no faith in Dolan to do that.

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    Originally Posted by KBlack25
    So you would support bringing in a coach that would keep us the exact same while having the owner pay two head coaches for a year? That doesn't make much sense to me...losing D'Antoni only helps if we bring in someone that IMPROVES the team. I have no faith in Dolan to do that.
    I think he is just making the point that MDA is vastly overrated and now people are finally learning the truth about his style of play.

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    Originally Posted by KBlack25
    So you would support bringing in a coach that would keep us the exact same while having the owner pay two head coaches for a year? That doesn't make much sense to me...losing D'Antoni only helps if we bring in someone that IMPROVES the team. I have no faith in Dolan to do that.

    i could care less what dolan pays for a coach.. its not counted against the cap.. so who cares.. he can pay a coach 20mil a year and I wont care...

    if there was no cap rules we would have a 150mil dollars payroll...

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    i could care less what dolan pays for a coach.. its not counted against the cap.. so who cares.. he can pay a coach 20mil a year and I wont care...

    if there was no cap rules we would have a 150mil dollars payroll...
    You do care if it affects Dolan's desire to pay for a good coach.

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    Originally Posted by moneyg
    there are a ton of coaches out there than can produce a .500 win team.. cuz thats what we are now
    +1... Easily! Any coach could take our talent and put a .500 team on the floor. NY needs another change, D'Antoni needs to go. I'm glad others are starting to realize this.

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    Originally Posted by KingofNy
    +1... Easily! Any coach could take our talent and put a .500 team on the floor. NY needs another change, D'Antoni needs to go. I'm glad others are starting to realize this.
    I actually think that SSOl and D'ant have elevated Felton's game from mediocre to All-star caliber. Yes he has slumped as of late and our record since has reflected that. Had Felton been in a conventional system all year and put up similar numbers to last year would we really be .500? I doubt it.

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