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Mike D’Antoni, Page 2

State of the Union Kickoff – New York Knicks

You know how the State of the Union addresses go, right? President goes up and speaks about how the country is kicking ass in everything. Problems during the President’s term are either masked with rehearsed rhetoric or omitted from discussion in entirety. And, our favorite part: Congressmen, celebrities, and other losers get on their feet for the obligatory applause as soon as Mr. President indicates that it is the correct time to do so.

Well, and especially in the Knicks’ case, you won’t need to stop reading mid-blog post and clap your hands. This post will be the first in a series of irregularly scheduled posts detailing Mambino’s favorite professional teams. I’ll take care of the Bockers and Yankees, KOBEsh will handle Lakers and Dodgers, and Pucklius will muse on the Devils and Mets. Each prominent player will be given a number of Mambinos, on a scale of 1-5, with some biased analysis to follow. (Hey, at least we’re honest.)

The Knicks are off to a 2-4 start. The team has heard boos during every single home game: losses to the lowly Raptors and Bobcats, and even during the win over the Celtics, when New York squandered a 20 point lead in the 2nd half. But relax, guys. Remember that the goal in a shortened season is to simply make the playoffs. However, that doesn’t mean that the team is free of problems that need to be addressed. Let’s get to it.

IMAN SHUMPERT: 5 Mambinos
Before we get to the bad news, let’s talk about Shump Dizzle. Last night’s game against the Bobcats provided one bright spot: the Garden faithful’s acceptance of Iman Shumpert into their lives. He hit shot after shot after shot. He played excellent man-to-man defense. He made smart decisions. Basically, he was everything that we wished Toney Douglas was: a real point guard who can provide a spark when necessary. When MDA inexplicably took Shump out of the game in the 4th quarter, when the Knicks were building their last comeback, the crowd begged and pleaded for his return. D’Antoni listened, for once, and is now contemplating starting the rook on Friday night against the Washington Walls.
I took an informal poll in my section last night, and not one person said they would trade Shumpert for the rookie on the opposing bench, Kemba Walker. And that’s saying something. This guy has all the tools to be an All-Star one day. Consider my #21 t-shirt already ordered.
TYSON CHANDLER: 3 Mambinos
The Knicks gave up a billion points last night to the Charlotte Bobcats. Disgusting, I know; everytime B.J. Freaking Mullens hit a jumper from the perimeter, my heart asked my brain why I decided to become a Knicks fan. And expectedly, the fingers are being pointed at Tyson Chandler, the guy who was supposed to “correct” the porous Knick defense. But wait a second. He’s just one man.
If you’ve caught a glimpse of training camp, practices, or have been lucky enough to sit close enough in the Garden, you will hear one voice over everybody else’s (including the easily recognizable D’antoni Drawl): Tyson’s. He teaches lessons and barks out orders to everyone, including Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. In games, he still blocks more than 1 shot a game, and alters at least 5 more. His free throw shooting has been pretty decent, and he’s a nice target for lobs inside.
So why does he not get 4 Mambinos, or even 3.5? Well, those rebounding numbers are low at less than 7 per game. There are two reasons for that. First, his defensive prowess cannot physical
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ESPN possesses the GPS location of me and my friends

Last week I showed you guys how Chris Sheridan committed a Jersey Shore level robbery on my Kurt-Thomas-to-the-Knicks request. This week? None other than the sportswriter of our time, Bill Simmons.

“To the Knicks … why are they keeping Mike D’Antoni again? I say trade him to the Warriors for a second-round pick and let him find his Part 1 of his three-part manifest destiny: coaching a team that scores 110 points a game, can’t get a defensive stop, has two guards scoring 30-plus a game and occassionally plays home games that make you say, “158-153 — is that a bowling score or the score of last night’s Warriors game?”

On Sunday, during Game 1 of Heat-Celtics, Crapapples texted me this:

“A game like today’s really puts into perspective how bad your Knicks are on D. The Celts went from looking like the ’06 Suns to the ’03 Pistons.”

When I responded that it was exactly why ‘Antoni had to go, he unleashed this gem:

“… to the Warriors.”

Simmons, you’re lucky that Crapapps cares more about owning the rights to sloths than taking the time to bust you. Craps, you can’t take text messages “off the record” like Gchat, so suck it.Read more...

Knicks Recap: Happy Easter

A good head coach doesn’t win you the game. A good head coach prevents you from losing a game.

While even some of the diehard troopers stressed over the general New York basketball malaise, Anthony Carter’s play told a story. The 35-year-old vet played with the amount of moxy for which the city had begged, and my friend Crapapples had texted me to admit that the Garden looked “electric.” (See? I can’t be totally lame if others share the sentiment.) However, in between some monster chest bumps, I took time to read between the lines of AC’s tale.

Why wasn’t he given the PT earlier in the series? Well, it hit me after he buried a shot clock-beating jumper. When the ball hit net, Knicks fans were overjoyed not because of talent, but because of surprise. To put it plainly, points aren’t AC’s bag, baby. The guy is just not an offensive dude. But you know who is? Mike ‘Antoni. AC never portrayed the offensive prowess or potential of Billups or Douglas, so he never got time. This is the same reason why Corey Brewer got cut. It’s the same reason Amar’e played Center all year long. It’s the same reason why Shawne Williams guarded guys like Glen Davis. You are useless to Mike ‘Antoni if you can’t produce on offense.

Good head coaches make adjustments. Doc Rivers frustrated Melo on every possession after Game 2. Mikey Antone just sat there…hoping…waiting…praying. Ball’s in your court Dolan. Do the right thing.Read more...

Knicks Recap: We Need You JVG

This morning I had a question for my cousin Andrew. It centered around nutrition. Even before the Big Man answered my question, I knew that I could trust that what he said would be true. The kid’s majoring in Kinesiology, and has used it to shed tons of excess in the past couple years.

As the Knicks were losing their grasp on the game tonight, ESPN showed a clip of Mike ‘Antoni begging his team to show more energy on defense. The speech was all style and no substance, solely because of the speaker’s credibility. This is truly important when one strives to inspire others in a moment’s notice. For example, when the Celtics look into Rivers’ eyes, they see their leader. When the Knicks look into ‘Antoni’s eyes, they just see their coach. The Knicks lost tonight because they weren’t prepared to raise their game. A better coach would have done something, anything, besides resting on his laurels.

Yes, injuries made this series more difficult for ‘Antoni, but the MSG faithful had more energy than the millionaires tonight. More often than not, it’s the coach’s fault. It’s time, Dolan. Take him out back and Old Yeller his ass.

$30 mil over 4 years for Jeff Van Gundy. Get it done. Now if you’ll excuse me, tonight seems like a good night to blackout.Read more...