I think it all comes down to the coaching.
We can agree that Mike D'Antoni has a way more talented roster right now than he did during his heyday with the Suns, right?
Yeah, he had better roleplayers in Phoenix such as Barbosa and Raja Bell, but in NY he has a second superstar in Carmelo and we all know that the NBA is a superstar's league so the second superstar is far more valuable than a team of mediocre roleplayers who couldn't contain Tony Parker.
If Mike D'Antoni could score the living hell out of any opponent during his Phoenix days, and he has a more talented roster, where are the results? During the D'Antoni Phoenix days we saw Steve Nash make a fool out of everyone in the Western conference by constantly abusing the pick and roll with Amar'e and hitting his outside shots.
Now we have quite possibly the most versatile scorer in the league who is an underrated passer and more athletic than Nash could ever hope to be, not to mention stronger, and...we can't run the pick and roll? Is D'Antoni's philosophy really going to be sitting around and deciding either to chuck 3's or to give the ball to a superstar in isolation? Is that the best he's got?
Cause that's not going to win us ****. It's not. Simply put when we go up against the likes of Mike Brown, Tom Thibodeau, Erik Spoelstra, Gregg Popovich, and so on, simply saying "Hey Melo shoot a face up jumper when you get the ball" is not going to cut it. And this was against the Warriors without their best player.
I understand there are going to be growing pains. I get it. The Knicks' attempts to run the Felton-Amar'e pick and roll were awful and at times it looked as if Felton had no idea what was going on. But they worked on it, got better at it, and eventually seemed to get some chemistry down that was only ruined by Felton's terrible shot selection. We need to do something more if this team is going to go anywhere. Simply giving the ball to Melo and asking him to score 35+ points isn't going to work every night. The luxury of having a player like that is the fact that it COULD work on some nights, but it didn't work tonight.
Last of all where's the rebounding? Sixth graders who don't box out have to sit on the bench, where the hell was the boxing out? Where was the offensive rebounding? We grabbed 4 offensive rebounds and one was by Jerome Jordan in garbage time, we got outrebounded by sixteen and were unable to do anything. We have one of the game's best rebounding and defending centers, we have an athletic PF who can grab a decent share of boards, and we have a top SF in basketball. There's no excuse for letting Kwame Brown grab 10 boards in 11 minutes. That's just sad.
Yes, it's early in the season. Yes, it's just one game. But if this team plays like this against any decent team, there's going to be no playoffs for us. Get past the first round? Maybe at a pro-am if these guys can golf.