Isiah Thomas Is Finally Gone: Now Is the Time for Knicks' Redemption

Gabe PodairContributor ISeptember 11, 2008

After a terrible season last year, the New York Knicks look to change the way they are  perceived around the NBA. The newly hired President of Basketball Operations, Donnie Walsh, has brought a completely different mentality to the way the Knicks are run. 

Walsh's first big decision as President of Basketball Operations was who was going to carry out the same mentality on the court. After interviewing many coaches, Walsh decided that the best pick would be the Phoenix Suns' head coach, Mike D'Antoni.

Mike D'Antoni is considered to be one of the most prominent head coaches in the NBA today. He piloted the Suns to four straight 50+ wins and won their division three times. D'Antoni, who played professionally overseas, brings a completely different playing style to the decrepit Knicks' style of play. 

But since signing Mike D'Antoni, Walsh has become somewhat quiet. He has made one trade, freeing up their salary cap, signed Chris Duhon, and drafted a questionable unproven European forward.

Are these moves all the Knicks need to become a successful ball club? I don't think so.

The main problem that the Knicks have had these past couple of years has been defensive presence from big men. Players like Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph are not exactly known for their overpowering defense. If the Knicks could get a good defensive center such as Darko Milicic or even Ben Wallace, they could get many more stops in transition.

One positive for the Knicks this year is the production of their 2007 first round pick, Wilson Chandler. Chandler started off the 2007-2008 Knicks season riding the bench. From November to February the Knicks' first round pick never averaged over 10 minutes of playing time a game.  It was not until March that Isiah Thomas started to give the rookie a chance.

Chandler is a great basketball player. Standing at 6"8, he is a big matchup for the standard small forward and can still contend against guards and power forwards. He has shown a tremendous ability to shoot the ball and also plays great defense.

Even though Chandler seems like the most promising young player on the team, it doesn't look like he will get a chance to start this year. He is still a very young player with loads of untapped raw potential.

If Donnie Walsh decides to stay with the current roster to start the season in November, the Knicks are in for a mediocre year. Even though they are lacking many key components, Donnie Walsh is headed in the right direction. The Knicks' future is extremely promising, but only with good leadership and enough money for 2010.