So, I've spent the afternoon trying to make a video, but I'm having technical troubles, so I'll just go back to typing. Here's what I was going to say: I'm bummed that Mike D'Antoni's gone. I'm bummed because I liked him as an individual and thought he was put at a disadvantage by being given a team that was in flux for the entire team he was in charge. The word now is that D'Antoni's final act was actually calling for more flux-- a trade to send Carmelo Anthony away for Deron Williams. Doesn't really matter now. Melo's still here, D'Antoni isn't. What this means for Melo from here on out, for Jeremy Lin from here on out, and for...everybody here on out is anyone's guess. I assume that Mike Woodson is not the long-term replacement for D'Antoni, but I sort of doubt the intelligence of anybody willing to take this job after seeing how it went for the last half dozen or so coaches. In general, this team's long-term plan is inscrutable. There kind of isn't such a thing as "long-term" with these Knicks, at least since James Dolan's been up top. Covetousness and restlessness have led to rampant instability.
So, let's just look at the short term. The Knicks are still the Eastern Conference's ninth seed, they still have a game with the Blazers tonight, and they still have an incredibly important couple of weeks coming up. Let's look ahead at the schedule.
After tonight's game with the Blazers, the Knicks have the following left on their March schedule:
Indiana Friday, March 16 2012
@ Indiana Saturday, March 17 2012
Toronto Tuesday, March 20 2012
@ Philadelphia Wednesday, March 21 2012
@ Toronto Friday, March 23 2012
Detroit Saturday, March 24 2012
Milwaukee Monday, March 26 2012
Orlando Wednesday, March 28 2012
@ Atlanta Friday, March 30 2012
Cleveland Saturday, March 31 2012
All Eastern conference opponents, and Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Cleveland are all within three games of New York in either direction. The Knicks'll see the Bucks, Hawks, and Cavs again in April. Basically, this team-- which now has a coaching staff of Mike Woodson and two other people-- has a ton of incredibly important games against teams competing for the same playoff spot ahead on the schedule. Their fate is very, very much in their own hands. So, this leaves one to wonder whether this is one of those situations where a team suddenly explodes under an interim coach, or whether they'll completely slip away under Woodson.
Of course, a lot of that will have to do with how Woodson plans to run this team. Will he mix up the rotation? The starting lineup, even? Will he do what a lot of folks expect (based on his time with Joe Johnson in Atlanta) and slow the pace for perpetual isolation sets for Melo? Will he be able to keep Jeremy Lin playing somewhat effective basketball? Will the Knicks now switch defensive assignments before they even show up to work?
This sucks, but the Knicks still have games to play and a playoff run well within their grasp if they get their shit together under this interim coach. I have no idea what to expect.