But all that is circumstance. Let’s get down to what this is about. Defense, and the lack thereof. I’m not trying to abdicate the value of defense. The Knicks can not be, under any reasonable set of expectations or circumstances, an elite team, and almost all of that has to do with their lack of defense. From personnel, to system, to approach, their team is built to sufficiently ignore defense. The only reason they even acknowledge its existence is to get the ball back. Bear in mind I’m a believer that the D’Antoni Defensive Sieve is a myth. His Suns teams were far from stalwarts but nor were they the Raptors of last season. They were fine. Just not fine enough, especially not for the grotesque, misshapen, UFC-style ball that makes up the NBA playoffs. But even I can recognize that this cohesive roster is going to be abhorrent on defense.
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Last year... sound familiar?
Mike D'Antoni's excuse-making days are over By Kelly Dwyer This has to be Mike D'Antoni's low point. This has to be as bad as it gets. Has to be. Otherwise, he's got some ‘splainin' to do. He's tried before, mind you. With the"‘splainin'." D'Anton has never been shy about going on record regarding why, exactly, he's not playing this guy, won't play this guy or any potential combination of the myriad things the Knicks coach can or did do to his various guys. He's been vague, he's been wrong, he's been petty, he's been right, he's been churlish and he's been charming in his explanations. But this has to be the end of it. A month left in the season, the Knicks falling short of the playoffs, the last year of the Great Do-Over, and with Jordan Hill(notes) now having passed through town - this has to be it. OK, April 6 might have to be the end of it. That's the day Nate Robinson(notes) and the Celtics pass through New York. But that has to be the end of it. It has to be D'Antoni's low point. The last chance anyone has to question him. We're allowed to question him today because D'Antoni pulled off that right/wrong/jerk-ish/petty thing yesterday...
Here's my favorite part...


Because people are doubting you. They're doubting the way you coach, they're doubting the way you handle players of any type (to say nothing of the good or bad versions of those types), and with Steve Nash(notes) out pushing a team full of 90-year-olds and Robin Lopez(notes) on a 52-win pace in a West that's harder than ever, they're wondering what it is, exactly, that you do.
ow... ow.... I know.... Mike D'Antoni inflates stats!

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The three-pointer isn't always the best shot. Yes, the D'Antoni offense welcomes the open three, but some nights (like Thursday), those aren't going to fall. Still, quarter after quarter, the likes of Felton, Wilson Chandler and Gallinari kept firing as if points would be awarded at a volume discount. Logic says a target is easier to hit the closer you get to it, so why not try? Mid-range shots were available; the Heat were practically begging the Knicks to take them. Yet they seldom did. Though it worked out in the end as Gallinari and Fields caught fire in the fourth, far too many nights have seen the Knicks fall when their threes don't. With a team as close to being consistently good as New York is, why not take what a defense gives you? Maybe a shooter or two finds a rhythm and you won't need to stage a 29-15, fourth-quarter rally to squeeze past a Heat team minus one of its top players.
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Who knows? Maybe D'Antoni found a new way to make a wheel. I bet his supporters don't know either. But hey, this game is still young.

Here's another good article on who's to blame...

Suspect #1: Coach Mike D’Anton D’Antoni has always been an ‘offense-first’ type of coach. The Knicks are averaging 101.6 PPG, 11th best in the league. D’Antoni’s‘fast-break’ style of offense has made the team seemingly one- dimensional. The Knicks are shooting only 34% from behind the arc (7th worst in the league) and grabbing only 23% of offensive rebounds(4th worst in the league). Defensively, the Knicks have been abysmal. They are giving up 104.5 PPG, (5th worst in the league). They are only rebounding 47% of missed shots(league average is around 50%) and have been allowing opponents to shoot 47.7% from the field, (5th worst in the league). There’s no excuse for the way that the Knicks have been playing. It’s the coach’s job to motivate the players and have them play better defense. D’Antoni does not have direct control over team acquisitions, but Donnie Walsh has given D’Antoni some respectable parts(McGrady) to use in this transition year. D’Anton has been almost indifferent to change his lack-luster defensive approach. This team should not be allowing 104.5 PPG. D’Anton has failed the Knicks and the fans of New York this season.
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This is from last year, but notice we are actually givng up more points now than then. Smh.

The verdict...

Who’s To Blame: Mike D’Antoni The uninspiring play this season is solely Mike D’Antoni’s fault. The Knicks have some good players, but he has not been able to get this team to play as a unit. Even in this transition year, Donnie Walsh has given D’Antoni some respectable players. D’Anton must add a new defensive outlook or his tenure in the Big Apple will come to an end.
Players or coach?
Players or system?
Ever hear of "unintended consequences"?


This thread was created to funnel the D'Antoni -vs- the Anti-D'Antoni debates. Please stop expressing opinions about coach in other threads created for other discussions.

Thanks.

P.S. "Spin Doctors" need not apply.

One.