This article is nearly 2 weeks old so most of you have probably read it already. Either way, I'm just using it to support my thread.
BY Frank Isola
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Sources close to the Knicks president say that Walsh is concerned about the team's defensive woes. The best way to solve the problem is to acquire defensive-minded players. But the culture also needs to change, and yesterday D'Antoni, who has a reputation for being rigid, made it clear that his system works.
With the Knicks on pace for a second straight 50-loss season under D'Antoni and the team struggling defensively, the assumption is that the defensive-minded Walsh will want to address the issue during the offseason. One possibility is hiring a defensive coach, which doesn't necessarily mean that one of the current assistant coaches - Dan D'Antoni, Herb Williams, Phil Weber or Kenny Atkinson - will lose his job.
But the mere suggestion of making changes to his staff clearly annoyed D'Antoni. When asked about possibly changing the style of play, D'Antoni answered, "No." As for the coaching staff, he said: "No. No thought whatsoever. And there will be none." (STUBBORN GUY!)
Three years ago, D'Antoni had a similar response when Phoenix GM Steve Kerr suggested that D'Antoni, then the Suns coach, focus more on the defensive end. At the time, D'Antoni was averaging 58 wins per year as Suns coach. However, his star has fallen considerably in New York and he may not have the leverage to fight Walsh over a personnel decision.
Walsh hired D'Antoni knowing that the coach's forte is offense. And yet Walsh's history suggests he favors a more traditional style of play, and he may feel he has to go outside the organization to bring in a coach to preach defense.
D'Antoni's older brother, Dan, is regarded as the Knicks' top defensive coach. Mike D'Antoni hired Dan and Weber from the Phoenix Suns while Atkinson, a Long Island product, was hired from the Houston Rockets. Williams was on Isiah Thomas' staff and has been a Knicks assistant since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in December of 2001.
Read more: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
What does D Dantoni, H Williams, K Atkinson and P Weber add to the team coaching-wise? IMO not much. For months, we've been evaluating the players and criticizing various guys for different reasons but lets take a look at the staff.
There are many thing that bother me with the entire coaching staff.
1)Did any of them try to make a push for Darko and Hill to get more playing time amid the glaring weakness at the C position?
2)Did no one else feel that J Williams, Aroyo or Tinsley would be a better starter than Duhon?
3)For most of the season, Gallo was limited to hanging out on the 3pt line and rarely got to the line. Was anything communicated to him in practice? Why is he now (at seasons end) starting to play with more aggression?
4)Why is Dan Dantoni regarded as the top defensive coach (must be a joke) when Herb Williams tenure spans through the Knicks glory days when they were consistently one of the leagues top defensive teams? Secondly, why the f*** does Herb have ZERO to offer after all this time playing and coaching under JVG and Riley??
Those are just a few questions I often have but it just seems like the coaching staff either has no say in basketball matters or they just fall in line like a bunch of yes men. Maybe I just don't fully understand the inner circle between a head coach and his staff but I was under the impression that they were there to help and offer varying suggestions. Perhaps they do but Dantoni just doesn't listen to his staff (hard to believe).
There were so many times during the season where I thought Hughes and Douglas should have been in the game during the final minutes because they were obviously the teams best defensive backcourt. Dantoni and his staff often preferred to go with a combination of Duhon/Nate and we ultimately lost a lot of close games partially because of it. Not playing Darko in games where we were getting killed in the paint is another example of the coaching staff no pushing hard enough or understanding.
If Dantoni is going to remain the coach beyond next season then I truly believe the coaching staff needs to be revamped starting with Herb Williams. We need to get guys in here who will develop a great relationship with the players and get them to perform at their highest level. Also, we need coaches who seriously understand the game of basketball beyond just scoring and playing defense. We need teachers and smart minds who can effectively counter opposing teams' moves and prepare for games effectively. Dantoni has a lot of holes in his coaching so if he's going to be here then at least surround him with guys who fill those gaps.