5 Things the NY Knicks Need from Their Next Head Coach
Now that the New York Knicks have parted ways with Mike Woodson, it's time for the organization to hire a head coach who is capable of maintaining his post for years to come.
New York's coaching carousel—dating back to Jeff Van Gundy's departure—has left a revolving door in philosophy and chemistry that has made it difficult for the franchise to find consistent success.
Whomever Jackson chooses as head coach must be hungry, loyal and capable of adjusting his game plan. The Knicks need someone who employs creative schemes and is willing to adapt over the course of a season.
Let's take a look at what else New York needs from its next leader.
A Good Eye for Talent
The Knicks are a little short when it comes to draft picks and salary-cap space, so a good eye for talent is more important now than ever.
New York needs a head coach who can spot diamonds in the rough and put those underrated players in the best position to succeed.
Yes, an eye for talent may be a greater necessity for a front-office executive, but having another set of eyes that can gauge potential would be a huge asset, while Phil Jackson is restricted by the mistakes of his predecessors.
Someone like Steve Kerr, who has been linked to the job for a while now, may be a good fit considering his tenure with the Phoenix Suns as general manager. Although things didn't work out for him in Phoenix, he gained experience in scouting and is familiar with searching for talent.
Solid Defensive Philosophy
New York struggled defensively, and although some of that blame could be chalked up to their inferior defenders, Mike Woodson's philosophy of switching on everything did not help.
The Knicks need a coach who can instill a better focus on the defensive end.
Too often players didn't rotate correctly, or they closed out poorly and had their man blow by them. A more authoritative coach who can articulate his vision on defense may be able to fix those issues until better defenders join the team.
By switching less often and emphasizing less gambling, the Knicks should see a decrease in the points scored per game by their opponents.
Creativity on Offense
Standing around and playing iso-ball for basically an entire season does little to facilitate scoring, and NY's struggles on the offensive end are the direct result of that system.
Aside from Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks don't have anyone else on the roster who can have his number called and score the ball at will. New York also doesn't have a dominant point guard who can carve up defenses and find the open man.
With those two glaring issues, coupled with the inconsistencies from J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, it was challenging at times for the Knicks to outscore their opponents and make up for their lackadaisical defense.
By bringing in a coach with a better system—one that is predicated on motion and ball movement—those infuriating moments when the offense was stagnant and someone hoisted up a low percentage shot with a defender in his face will occur less often.
An offensive philosophy that has players moving without the ball and curling off screens should create easier baskets and improve the bottom lines of Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr., who were inconsistent when forced to create off the dribble more than they should.
A creative system like the triangle would have the Knicks looking like a completely different team.
New York needs a chameleon after dealing with the failures brought on by Mike D'Antoni and Mike Woodson's stubbornness.
Those two coaches, and their inability to adapt to their roster and the way their team executed on their vision, could be responsible for most of New York's issues.
Although they both had some success during their tenures, their unwillingness to change game plans led to their demise.
The Knicks need a coach who can make tweaks on the fly that would put his team in the best position to win. Constantly trotting out a system or lineup that fails regularly is the last thing this organization needs moving forward.
A Lack of Favoritism
Too often, it seemed like Woodson played favorites by giving Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith bigger responsibilities and longer leashes than they deserved.
New York needs a coach who is willing to play the best five players at any given time. Playing one or two guys more than their performance warrants should be a thing of the past. If New York curbed Felton and Smith's responsibilities earlier in the season, the Knicks may have sneaked into the playoffs.
It's important to remain loyal to players, but when a coach plays one guy over another, regardless of performance, he is doing a disservice to the team and fanbase.
Woodson's inability to give Toure' Murry meaningful minutes has left fans wondering how high his ceiling is, and whether or not his aggressive and efficient defense would have been enough of a catalyst to propel New York into the postseason.
A new head coach who is willing to play the hot hand instead of whom he deems is the better player would bring the Knicks closer to consistency.