Ronny Turiaf disappointed me more than any other Knick last season. Now while I realize that we are hoping the Knicks are able to bring in certain big men this off season, until they actually sign a deal Ronny is our starting Center. So how do we fix him?
Number 1: Turiaf needs to re-discover his confidence in his mid range jump shot. Ronny had a very good and reliable jump shot from about 18 feet in ever since his senior year at Gonzaga. While Turiaf obviously did not take a lot of shots at his other stops in the NBA he would consistently take that shot when it was given to him. However how many times did we see Ronny catch the ball at the foul line area without a defender within 5 feet of him and not even look at the basket? Something has happened to destroy Ronny's confidence in that shot, and he needs to get it back. Ronny can and needs to take that shot when it is given to him.
Number 2: Turiaf needs to be better utilized in the pick and roll. Turiaf in his past NBA life was actually a good player in pick and roll situations. Especially when he played in LA they used him a lot in pick and roll with Kobe and he was extremely effective. Now in LA Turiaf would set a solid pick and then roll to the basket, D'Antoni prefers players to slip the pick, so maybe that has thrown Turiaf off a little bit. However, I also believe that Turiaf's unexplained passivity on offense has hurt his teammates' trust in him, and therefore they do not look to get him the ball rolling to the basket as much as they should. But watching Turiaf be effective in pick and roll and even pick and pop situations with LA makes me wonder why he was not more effective for us given that our offense features the pick and roll as much as it does.
Number 3: What the hell happened to Ronny's physical play. Ronny has always been an extremely physical player from his college days until this season. I was excited when we made the trade for Ronny because he could give us the physical presence we needed so desperately. However, Ronny has been extremely inconsistent in his physical play even to the point of shying away from contact. Maybe Ronny was effected by the Knicks' problems with depth up front and his lingering health problems so that he was more passive than usual. The message needs to be made clear to Ronny that he has to consistently play physical basketball, that is his strength and that is how he best helps the team. I would take the footage of Turiaf's play against the Bulls on Christmas day and play that over and over for him if I was on the Knicks coaching staff. Turiaf was a key component in shutting down the paint against Chicago and a big reason why we held them to 15 points and under 30% shooting in the 4th quarter. Turiaf can do that every game when his mind is right, we need to get him back there.
Now maybe we get a better player at Ronny's spot, and that remains to be seen. I am sure Donnie is going to pursue every player he can who he feels will make the Knicks better. But if we cannot land a better player at Center, if we can get Ronny back to doing the things he can do with regularity we will be fine with just adding depth behind him.