So last night the number six seed N.Y. Knicks went down 0-2 to the number three seed Boston Celtics having lost two games on the road in Boston. This morning on ESPN’s First and Ten Chris Broussard said coaching wise, “D’Antoni is getting undressed by Doc Rivers (Celtic coach)” both Skip Bayless and Broussard questioned whether D’Antoni was the right coach for the Knicks and whether or not he would be back next season.
So the Knicks lose two games on the road, by two and three points to the defending eastern conference champions that Skip predicted would be there again. They lose to a team that just about everybody predicted would beat the Knicks and you guys are using this an example of why D’Antoni isn’t a fit to be the coach? Can we at least wait till the Knicks get a home game in the series? If you guys were on a jury you would probably convict after the prosecutor’s opening statements!
Speaking of defense. The big rip on D’Antoni is his teams give up way to many points. So Boston must have scored as much or more than the 105.7 points per game the Knicks gave up during the regular season right? Wrong. Boston won scoring 87 points in game one and 96 in game two. Not bad.
Next it gets crazy. When the focus of the conversation shifts to the Celtics, Skippy and Chrissy start deriding the Celtics play, pointing out that they won game one at least in part because Knick point guard and clutch performer Chauncey Billups got hurt and left the game in the last minute. Further, they point to the two bad calls that went against the Knicks in the last minute. First the offensive foul call that went against Carmelo Anthony and then the non-call for an offensive foul against Kevin Garnett that freed up Ray Allen for the game winner. As for game two, they remind us that Chauncey was out for the whole game, all-star Amare Stoudemire plays eighteen minutes and has to leave due to injury and Jared Jeffries turns over a great pass from Melo that could have put the Knicks ahead with under ten seconds to play! Do you guys listen to yourself when you talk?
Lets reverse this. If Rajon Rondo missed the game due to injury and Paul Pierce played eighteen minutes and Billups and Stoudemire played at full health and the Knicks won by three points (at home) would we be singing D’Antoni’s praises and trashing Doc Rivers?
Just to remind you guys in case you forgot, the Knicks gutted their team midseason and we have seen how long it has taken the Miami Heat with Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to make the chemistry work. The Knicks have been together as constructed for less than half a season and towards the end of the season before they had to rest Stoudemire due to an ankle injury they won seven in a row. And now they play two winnable relatively low scoring games against the heart of a champion Boston Celtics and if not for bad calls and key injuries could be up 2-0 or at least 1-1. I would say the Knicks are trending in the right direction. You wouldn’t?
D’Antoni is an accomplished coach who has won a coach of the year, with a .650 winning percentage in Phoenix and took them to the conference finals. Give him some respect and at least one full season with this new nucleus to work with before you bury him.
In the same episode of First and Ten Chris and Skip are talking about Lebron James and in defense of James, LeChris (as Skip calls Chris) states that Lebron never had a perimeter all-star player as a teammate in Cleveland. I’m sure what Chris meant to say was aside from Mo Williams Lebron never had a perimeter all-star as a teammate in Cleveland.