For the first time in three seasons, the New York Knicks stood firm as the trade deadline expired—but experts are teeming with thoughts for New York's future. The most immediate issue facing the Knicks is how they will fill the void left by head coach Mike D'Antoni's departure.
There are several thoughts on who the Knicks are looking to hire to replace him, starting with interim head coach Mike Woodson. Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News believes Woodson is on the Knicks' short list, among others. Woodson boasts NBA head coaching experience, holding that position with the Atlanta Hawks for six seasons between 2004-2010. Though the Hawks won just 13 games in that 2004 season, they went on to win 53 games in Woodson's final year as head coach.
With just 23 games remaining in their schedule, the Knicks could possibly give Woods the rest of the season to prove his potential for the full time gig.
Besides interim coach Woodson, the obvious prospect hogging the headlines is Phil Jackson. Jackson has been a centerpiece of "how to fix the Knicks" discussion since the pre-Linsanity days.
But what do the experts say on the matter?
Most believe that while the Knicks appear to be the only team who could convince Jackson to un-retire (again), he will not return to the court.
Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN New York report that Jackson has not reached out to the Knicks or vice versa since the head coaching position opened up.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon of Pardon the Interruption both believe that the Knicks must pursue Phil Jackson, but that they shouldn't get their hopes up. And Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News notes that Knicks owner James Dolan, who throws his weight around in personnel decisions, may shy away from hiring Jackson due to concerns over the coach's health and cost considerations.
So who are the experts discussing besides Jackson?
Cindy Boren of The Washington Post speculates that University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari might be a consideration.
Calipari, whose Wildcats earned a No. 1 seed in this year's Dance, dispelled that discussion soon after the D'Antoni news broke, tweeting:
As I’ve said before, I have the greatest job in basketball at any level. Why would I be interested in another job?— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 14, 2012
But it remains to be seen whether the coach was speaking earnestly or just wants to stave off this conversation to focus on a potential national championship.
Beyond the coaching void, the Knicks need to look ahead to transactions involving their players. The Knicks have gone 2-8, dropping six in a roow since Carmelo Anthony's return. Justin Terranova of the New York Post describes Anthony as the anti-Lin.
Questions linger over whether Lin and Anthony can work together to make the Knicks thrive, which leads to speculation about how the roster might shift after the season concludes.
CBS New York columnist John Schmeelk ultimately feels that the pressure is on Anthony to turn this team around or else he will bear the brunt of the blame and get shipped out of New York.
But if the Knicks can turn it around by the end of this season, Melo is likely to remain, as their star.
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