Everyone will have their opinions on the proverbial good guys and bad guys in the resignation/firing/mutual breakup between D’Antoni and the Knicks. I suspect that the role played by a season-long stretch of rotten luck will get lost in all of this, because it always does. Randomness is not the stuff of newspaper columns or even blogs.
What sticks in my craw is that the Knicks are a thoroughly mediocre team with some upside masquerading as an awful, six game losing streak team. Those will get many a coach run out of town in the NBA, unless the team is in it for the ping-pong balls. Still, it’s worth noting that according to basketball reference the Knicks have 23 Pythagorean (expected) wins. So they actually play like a slightly above .500 team instead of a bottom-feeder. Of course, the league doesn’t count Pythagorean wins toward playoff seeding. It only counts real ones. I get it.
And yet, D’Antoni’s and Anthony’s differences may have seemed more “growing pains” than “irreconcilable” with 23 wins, and a 2-4 record instead of 0-6 in the last six.
Twenty-four games left. My strong suspicion is that Mike Woodson won’t change things radically on offense. I don’t even think we will see Carmelo get the full Joe Johnson treatment. Let’s all just hope that we do not see a return to the “switch-on-every-pick” defense from earlier in the season. The playoffs are still in sight.