Monday, March 14, 2011

Knicks Play Dead -- Blame D'Antoni!

Knicks Should Not Lay Down Due to Lack of Effort!
The fact that the Knicks often do not concentrate on defence and rebounding is bad enough. But something needs to be done when they are permitted to play as though they don't even care and are routed by pathetic teams, such as the 12-53 Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Indiana Pacers who lost six in a row before the Knicks rolled over for them. How can coach Mike D'Antoni explain losing all three games to the Cavs, the NBA's worst team? Or why the Knicks are constantly out rebounded and play defence that is often as porous as smoke in the wind?

Perhaps D'Antoni is unable to do much about the Knicks' lack of height since the Carmelo Anthony trade. And this coach may not be adept at teaching his players how to defend against pick and rolls or to clog the middle to prevent the easy layups, that happen repeatedly every game. As a head coach, he should be able to teach defence or at the very least, "the world's most expensive arena," after raising their already high ticket prices by another 49%, certainly can afford to hire a competent defensive assistant who can.

However, as defensively challenged as D'Antoni may be, he should not be forgiven for allowing his well-paid professional players to come out unmotivated and unprepared. If it was just one game, it could be excused. But it has happened all too often this season. There is no excuse for the Knicks team to just go through the motions and play as though they were a junior varsity team.

Mike D'Antoni needs to hold his team accountable to at least play with effort every game. If they don't, there needs to be consequences. Players need to know that if they don't play hard in games, they will have to practice harder, longer and more often to make up for their lack of effort. Conditioning exercises, such as running the stands, will not only build stamina, but will also encourage aggressive game play to win games and avoid tough practises. Bottom line, if coach D'Antoni can't motivate his team to play hard, he needs to be replaced with a coach who can. Hopefully the new coach will teach his team to play much better defence and that the Knicks should never play dead!

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