Mike Woodson: Woody is an average coach at best who needs to take a lot of this blame, but not all of it. His lack of timely rotational moves and play calling have catapulted the Knicks backwards in the 13/14 season.
We all have our issues with the way coach has handled this roster, but two of the most condemning were his inability to hold players accountable on the defensive end, something that he stated he would do when he took over the team from Mike D, the other is a minor issue but showed great insight into the mentality of the Knicks and coach Woodson. The story goes like this: Metta was told that he would be out of the rotation. That is an issue in itself, but the outrageous thing is that he was told not to be a vocal leader and to quiet down. That is when he realized that he could not help this team, and he then asked for a buyout.
The fact that he did not play is ridiculous. He was the prefect SF to play along side of Melo. His championship pedigree, knowledge and defense first policy was exactly what the Knicks needed. But for some reason after he came back from his injury, Metta was not given a chance and was completely tuned out from Woodson and his rotation. For a team that was in a complete nosedive and losing 5 games at a time on multiple occasions, the Knicks could have used Metta’s expertise at every turn. This is just one of the reasons why Mike Woodson will not be the coach next year, making the team better off from the start.
Amar’e and Bargnani Are the Same Player: Not exactly true, but with both player’s lack of defense instincts and both being gifted offensively, you cannot have both guys in the rotation at the same time. Your defense will suffer. Phil and his new coach must decide who will be in the rotation and who will be out.
Melo and His Guys Talk: Melo is a stud on the offense and has had a decent defensive year, however Melo talks about how the team needs to do this and do that to win and be better, but Melo and his guys never walk the talk. This is a problem, and one of the main reasons why I never listen to anything the have to say anymore. They start out doing the right thing, but when the pressure is on and they are in crunch time they always revert back to their old ways and what they know best, lack of focus. They have no discipline and their basketball IQ’s are not high enough to be on a Phil Jackson run team.
Too Many One-Way Players:
Shump: Good defensively but not a good offensive threat. He thinks he is Wade, but he is not even close. He makes the wrong pass at the wrong time and does not make the correct pass he should. He offensively disrupts the teams’ flow, watch you will see what I mean.
Felton: A PG who is not really a PG. He is more like a SG that can’t really shoot on a consistent basis.
J.R. Smith: Consistently inconsistent. That sums it up. He cannot be relied upon and should be moved, or be the 3rd or 4th option, not the 2nd.
Hardaway Jr: He is a keeper. Right now he is horrible defensively but he is only a rookie.
Pablo: A very good passer on pick n rolls (something that might not happen if they move to the triangle). Pablo can pass and play D against slower PG’s, however he does not look to shoot enough.
Tyson: Tyson can be a solid center that could be a vital cog to a team. But the problem is that he is asked to cover up all the defensive woes of this team. He is older and more fragile than ever, but could be a big part of this team next year, especially if they get better defensive players to mold round Melo and Tyson.
A few would be as follows: Sign Pau Gasol to a 2-year mini mid level. This a very low number but make the 2nd year a player option and this will allow Pau opt out and sign a bigger contract in the summer of 15. This could happen if Phil could have a “Zen moment” with Pau to convince him of this.
The other would be to give Metta another shot in the rotation. We all know that Metta wants back to NY if Woody is gone. A frontline of Melo, Pau and Tyson, with Metta and either Amar’e or Barg’s is not that bad. All they would have to do then is get another SF and Center to spell more D, toughness and athleticism.
The backcourt is a tricky problem. Felton might not be around for legal purposes, but this is where Phil will earn his 12 million. He needs to make a change from Felton and JR to a more consistent triangle run guard rotation. Not an easy task but a task that he must lay a foundation to. Timmy and Shump is a start with Pablo as a back-up. The must find a starting PG and a SG. Tall task but must get done.
These few moves could make this team watchable and easy to root for. The one we watch now is hard to do.