Knicks Rumors: Why Deadline Deal Won't Save Mike D'Antoni's Job

Ben ShapiroAnalyst IIIDecember 14, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Toney Douglas #23 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden on January 31, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

If one was to somehow tune out all the negative chatter surrounding the New York Knicks' current six-game losing streak and just glance at the current standings, you'd notice something. 

The Knicks, even in the midst of their current malaise, aren't even close to being eliminated from playoff contention. They're currently on the outside looking in, but only by virtue of a tiebreaker that they'd lose to the Milwaukee Bucks.

In fact, if one were to have reasonable faith in the law of averages—which suggests that the Knicks are going to win some games in the near future—then it's also reasonable to suggest that they could make the playoffs.

Milwaukee did make a major deal last night to acquire a go-to scorer in Monta Ellis. This trade increases the pressure on Knicks management to not stand pat unless they're prepared to completely write off this season.

If Knicks management believes the team is a legitimate playoff team, then perhaps there is a deal or two they could make in the next 24 hours as the trade deadline draws to its conclusion.  

A potential Knicks trade probably wouldn't have to be an earth-shattering deal. It could be a minor deal involving Toney Douglas. After all, the Knicks roster really isn't that replete with talent gaps and major holes.

The team has two decent point guards in Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis. The team has two big-time scoring threats in Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. They've got a spot-up three-point sniper in Steve Novak and defensively focused center in Tyson Chandler. 

That's the problem for head coach Mike D'Antoni—the roster really isn't bad. The team's record does not appear to be a personnel issue. It appears to be a coaching one.

That's why even if a deal is made, and even if the Knicks' fortunes turn around and they end up making the playoffs, the fate of head coach Mike D'Antoni is in all likelihood already sealed.

He's on his way out and nothing short of a miracle run to the NBA Finals will save his job at this point.