It's quite obvious that none of the stars are on the same page with coach Mike D'Antoni. People continue to put D'Antoni on the hot seat, but really, it's the players, and Stoudemire realizes that too.
“We got to start reading the board before games,’’ Stoudemire said. “We have to prepare ourselves better as individuals. Coaches give the game plan. We have to be ready to execute the game plan. If we’re not ready to execute the game plan, we’re not helping our teammates."
“We have to learn to comprehend and learn from our mistakes and right now we’re not doing that,’’ Stoudemire added. “The only thing that could put a smile on my face is my kids and they’re not in New York. It’s not a great feeling right now.’’
Big acquisition center, Tyson Chandler, felt the same way. He's disappointed that the team still hasn't found the pieces to the puzzle.
“I refuse to have a losing season,’’ Chandler said. “We have to do what it takes. I refuse to go through a losing season. We got to man up. I’m not going to build any excuses. Everybody has this schedule. Everybody’s going through four games in five nights and back to backs. Everybody’s banged up. It’s times like this you have to dig deep. It’s about the team that wants it more.’’
With Carmelo Anthony back and Baron Davis coming back by mid-February, it will only get better from here.
Having big forwards and centers is a major plus, but when you have no real legitimate point guard, especially in D'Antoni's system, your team is not going anywhere.
Face it, Stoudemire is one of the best pick-and-roll forwards in the league, but only when he has a pass-first point guard on the floor.
Chandler is very explosive and is above average accepting passes in the air for two points. That said, Baron Davis is a very good candidate to turn the team around.
As much pressure as there is on Davis, who most say has to turn the team around, he will definitely perform well in high pressure situations. If he is able to drop Shumpert out of his starting role, (something the Knicks couldn't do this season), that would leave less pressure on Toney Douglas, who could again be that three-point shooter that made him a fan favorite in his first two seasons.
Bill Walker has been phenomenal from three-point range in the last two games. With him getting more minutes then usual, he'll finally excel off the bench and actually do a decent job covering for Anthony because of where his confidence level is at.
I doubt he'll see any minutes, but Steve Novak is still a good wild-card player to attempt a couple of threes.
So, as weird as it sounds, the last two games against the Heat and Rockets actually helped the Knicks. Yelling and screaming is what they needed to do. Get what's on their chest off of it. Talk things over. Figure things out. Most of all, develop team chemistry.
Let's be realistic, the Knicks' shooting has struggled all season, and that's probably because of the squeezed schedule. But they need to find a way to score. Defense makes offense, and when you play both sides well, you'll win. They only did that in their first game against the Pistons.
Ironically, the Knicks will face off against the Pistons on Tuesday to rebound from their horrific start.
Davis is doubtful, and Anthony is probable. Either way, the Knicks will play with great heart and passion throughout that game, and the future.
The Knicks' playoff run begins here. The East better watch out!
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