This is not at all a plea for patience, be however worked up about this team as you want, just seemed like a nice title. I will also be discussing why I have patience and still look forward to these stars on the Knicks next year. I don’t think MDA can come back after this year, or know if he would want to, unless something magical happens to finish the season. But, regardless of whether we get a new coach, I want this team together for a full off/pre-season and then at least half of a real season to see what can be made of them. This has been the most batshit crazy season, for the Knicks especially, and I really doubt any coach could have this team doing or looking any better with all the shit that has gone down. Pardon my french in this article, and that it possibly includes poor switching between tenses here or there.
-Two weeks before the season starts, MDA gets his 1 established PG taken away from him in place of a big C, who plays D great and has other characteristics of a non-MDA player like no range. Now, Tyson has been awesome on the PnR, but his presence has completely fucked up the spacing STAT and Melo are used to and led to way too few STAT PnR’s early on. Not like there are many options anyway, but the Knicks pick up an injured Baron Davis with the hopes that TD, Bibby and Shump could handle the point. Now, maybe MDA should have just not let this go down, but I still think this is a no brainer. Billups wasn’t going to be around long or the best choice for the system, whereas Tyson could be around as long as the two current superstars and give the D leadership neither had, thus giving the Knicks a big window for building a championship team. All of this leads to MDA trying to teach Melo a point-forward role involving way more than he ever has before, in two weeks.
-Two weeks after the season starts, record at 6-4, the Melo injuries force him to take a night off. This leads to several of the worst weeks of Melo’s career as he tries to play through them to help the team, only to look terrible while bricking 105 shots over 4 games, or getting only 1 point on an 0-7 during the only Knicks win from 1/12 to 1/28 (10 games). He needs to play because he is the only one who can create a shot for anyone with how TD, Bibby and Shump were playing. Shump and TD were alternating starting and sharting at this point in the season. Nobody led by those guys was going anywhere good. Jorts gets injured. Without a real PG, STAT and Landry seemed like shells of what they were last season, though neither had fallen as far as TD. Both were used to getting assisted on a high percentage of their points.
-About two weeks later, Linsanity arrives as Melo gets re-injured and STAT needs a week off. Knicks go crazy winning because of their D, good spacing on O, teams unprepared for Linsanity and a number of teams who aren’t good. TD is no longer in the rotation, Shump gets recycled back to 6th/7th man. Walker gets to play a lot during this time. Novak goes nuts. Jeffries wins over some Knicks fans for the first time ever (?). All anyone wants to talk about is how good Lin is, who to compare him to, and how will he play with Melo.
-About two weeks later, Melo and Boom are healthy and playing in the same Knicks game. The warm feelings about Lin are cooling as teams make stopping him their number 1 priority, knowing he will turn it over some. The rotation of usable players is getting deep, but the amount of time those players have spent playing together is borderline zero. The Knicks also add JR Smith to an already crowded list of unfamiliar faces. The Knicks have enough good players to put on a game of 5-on-5 that would be better competition than plenty of NBA games, but no idea which groups of 5 work best together and barely any time.
The current Knicks roster, the deep one that makes me dream, has been together for 10 games and had about 3 days of practice. There is ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY no way that you can say for sure that they won’t work out after that short a period together. This period of the season feels like the 3rd 'mini-preseason' the Knicks have to go through this year. Many teams, new or established, taking much of pre-season to get back to or begin to be really jelling. New teams often take longer than just pre-season because they need more time to test what works, to essentially guess and check.This team has to figure all of this out down the strech. If everyone finally stays healthy, by April this team could be doing some really great things. If not, bye-bye MDA. Find the new guy, make some minor tweaks to the roster early, begin planning for the season. If in a year things still look this bad, then I might be ready to join the crowd calling for many trades/shakeups. Of course, by then there will probably be injuries or something else making me want to wait a little longer. Go nuts telling me how wrong I am, but I doubt there is anything you can say that would make me believe that this team can't play together and doesn't deserve a longer chance. O, and I don't wanna hear bout STAT's rebounding based on the last game anymore.
On a side note, isn't it crazy how the Knicks season so far can be broken down into four consecutive two-week periods that feature 3-4 totally different Knicks looks. I say 3-4 because the first two are almost the same team, but Melo was good in block 1 and at his worst in block 2. To me, that Christmas day win just doesn't feel like it happened this season anymore. In two weeks, we could be reading how the Heat and Bulls are going to have to go through the Knicks because they are playing so hot.