I'm not sure if any of you had read ESPN's Ian O'Conner's column today.
I find this really uncalled for, and quite amazing that in a span of 3 months in which most of ESPN's so-called pundits considered the Knicks summer overhaul as a failure and the team's chances of making the playoff a long-shot, that they now even dare putting blame on Mike D's coaching ability as the reason for our recent slide.
Regardless of what we do in terms of trades or (even further down the road) during the next free-agency window, I don't see how anyone can consider our Knicks' season as anything but a success.
will you or will your not jump with me?
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that with this 24 hour news cycle, even (or mostly) in sports, any measure of perspective goes right out the window in order to cater to the panic or euphoria crowd. Perhaps this should be a given.
But to say that this team underperforms right now is to forget:
(1) that this team's rotation has only 3 players who had experienced some level (of what is considered) success in this league with Stoudemire, Felton, Turiaf (Walker wasn't really playing in Boston, and Mason Jr. doesn't count as a rotation player);
(2) that we are one the youngest teams in the NBA (4th overall with an average age of 25.12 yrs. );
(3) that we have one of the least experienced teams (6th overall with a 3.3 seasons experience per player);
(4) that our roster is brand new with only 4 returning players for last season (Chandler, Gallinari, Douglas, Walker. Eddy Curry doesn't count).
(5) that this is truly the first year of the retooling phase of the rebuilding process we had started two years ago.
(6) that despite shrinking our payroll by nearly half, we are 5 games short of our win total for the entire 2008-9 season with 29 games to go.
(7) that with the hoopla about the Knicks falling apart we are 5-5 in the last 10 games, not 1 and 9. True, it's not great but it's not horrible.
(8) and lastly, that in financial terms this season is a huge success. Not only were management able to reduce the payroll and avoid the luxury tax, they (and by they I mean Donnie) were able to assemble an attractive product that has recaptured the city's interest to such a degree that not only they can sell-out MSG but also justify a pretty hefty rate hike.
I'm perhaps often on the side of the Melo trade, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate every moment of watching the Knicks playing good, attractive, basketball and being truly relevant in February (and not relevant in a sense of a ridiculous mathematical possibility contingent on a late surge of going on a 15-0 run).
This year's Knicks team is a success story. PERIOD. And everyone involved in the organization can take full credit for it - starting with management, our coaching staff and of course our players. And we can improve still in so many different ways; whether that be seasoning, blockbuster trades or free-agency.
It's true that with the success we had earlier in the season comes an appetite for more, and I don't consider myself or any other person less of a fan of the Knicks if I feel that they can improve with this or that transaction. But we should also think back on the horrible decade we had, and than look at our record, look at our standing, sit back and smile.