Big Apple Blues: Is Mike D'Antoni to Blame for the New York Knicks' Struggles?

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IJanuary 28, 2012

Mike D'Antoni searches for answers on the court.
Mike D'Antoni searches for answers on the court.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Remember when the New York Knicks signed Tyson Chandler and all seemed well in New York?

Fans started envisioning championship banners being lowered at Madison Square Garden before a game was even played.

Remember the first game of the NBA season when the New York Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics with a 106-104 win that ignited the Knicks fanbase?

Or when the Knicks were losing games and fans were complaining about the lack of defense?

Now the Knicks are still losing and look lost on both sides of the ball.

The Knicks are now 7-13 and losers of nine of their last 10 games.

They are 17th in the league in points per game on offense and 18th in points allowed per game. There is nothing positive about the Knicks right now, and it does not look to be changing any time soon. 

Carmelo Anthony has been shut down while dealing with wrist and ankle problems, but Carmelo's health is not the only problem.

What about the speculations involving players who can help the Knicks?

Stoudemire and Anthony look for a way to start a run this season before it is too late.
Stoudemire and Anthony look for a way to start a run this season before it is too late.Al Bello/Getty Images

New York has been rumored to be interested in Kenyon Martin after he returns from playing in China. That might add talent to the team, but it would not solve the issues. Mike D'Antoni already has his hands full getting his players to play well together.

The problem with the Knicks comes down to two things: the lack of a qualified point guard and head coach. 

New York is trying to work Baron Davis back in to basketball shape in hopes that he is the answer.

Unfortunately, New York is up against a shortened season and a player who is still dealing with pain and conditioning problems.

Mike D'Antoni entered this season with an overall 103-147 record as the head coach of the Knicks. This season, he is leading New York to another miserable season. This was supposed to be the season.

All of the years of losing were supposed to result in a championship team by now. Last year the team showed heart in the playoffs but are back to looking lost on the court. They have no direction, no guidance and no leadership from their head coach. 

D'Antoni is going to be run out of New York sooner rather than later. It is time to start planning for the future and the best candidate to coach the Knicks next season is Phil Jackson. 

He has shown interest in coaching in New York; however, he told the New York Times that he does not want to coach right now.

But he also added, "never say never."

It will not hurt the New York Knicks to give the coaching legend a call. The worst that can happen is he says no. New York is ultimately going to throw money at him next season anyway, so why not try a few months earlier?

The Knicks fans are growing more impatient with every loss. 

It is frustrating to watch a team with great talent come up short against teams that they should beat. A team of this caliber should be able to compete with any team they take the court against.

Mike D'Antoni needs to turn the team around quickly and pull off a winning streak if he wants to make it to the end of the season.

This can be done by producing with the team he has been given on the court.

Often, New York brings the ball up court, makes one pass and then shoots. That shows a team that is undisciplined. He has to work on the production of his point guards as well. The Knicks need to distribute the ball to the big men, and it all starts with the point guard.

This is where D'Antoni has to make a change.

The clock is ticking on Mike D'Antoni. A below-.500 record heading into the All-Star Game will likely end the Mike D'Antoni era in the Big Apple.