2010 Report Card: Mike D’Antoni

In 2010, the Knicks were expected to better their 33 wins from the season prior. The returning players should have reaped the benefits of familiarity with D’Antoni’s offense. The team had multiple young players which should have improved. And the addition of two first round picks should have assisted with filling out the roster. However D’Antoni’s team floundered in his second season, finishing 4 games worse than the year prior.

The 2010 New York offense was nearly identical to 2009. Both teams finished 17th in offensive efficiency (107.6 in 2010, 108.1 in 2009) with good shooting (10th in 2010, 12th in 2009) and turnovers (11th in 2010 and 2009), while eschewing rebounding (27th in 2010 and 2009) and free throw shooting (28th in 2010 and 2009). However the defense was considerably worse dropping from 110.8 points per 100 possessions in 2009 (23rd) to 111.6 pts/100poss (tied 27th). The team was considerably worse with regards to rebounding going from tied for 20th place to 27th.

Granted the D’Antoni era Knicks with their broken roster wasn’t supposed to be about winning games, at least thus far. But even casting that aside, it’s hard to like everything that has happened to the team under his leadership. Take for instance his handling of certain players. You can write off his dealing with Marbury, considering how the latter has acted publicly (and if the public only sees a small portion of Marbury’s life, then I can only imaging what he was truly like). But it’s hard to dismiss Nate Robinson as easily. Nate was an integral part of the team last year amassing 2209 minutes, but by December he was persona non grata. Benching one of the team’s best players for a month due to immaturity seems harsh.

Just as important was his inability to handle his team publicly. Surprisingly Nate dealt with the benching in a mature fashion when it came to the press, however Larry Hughes and Darko Milicic were much less accommodating. D’Antoni failed to quell the media storm that came with these issues, and instead seemed to fuel them by teetering between aloofness and annoyance whenever asked about playing time.

Of course there may be elements that we as outsiders are not privy to, especially with regards to what occurs behind the scenes. But it’s impossible to defend D’Antoni’s choices in the rotation during the 2010 season. Tossing out the corpse of Chris Duhon’s night after night was inexplicable, and perhaps the worst coaching decision he has made. It was like the NBA’s version of the Emperor’s New Clothes; everyone could see that Duhon was awful except for the one person who could have removed him from the rotation. It’s not like D’Antoni didn’t have other options. Nate Robinson, Sergio Rodriguez, and Toney Douglas were obvious choices to replace Duhon. And the rookie proved to be a good player once he finally got playing time.

The point guard spot wasn’t the only position where D’Antoni blundered. For a team that was one of the worst in the league on defense and rebounding, D’Antoni refused to give serious consideration to any of the team’s natural centers. Granted the issues with Eddy Curry are well documented, but the team should have experimented with either Jordan Hill or Darko Milicic to see if either could have addressed these issues. Both players received more minutes from their new teams upon being traded, so it’s hard to believe there was anything other than D’Antoni’s own blinders which prevented them from contributing to the team. The treatment of Douglas, Hill, and Robinson might not be on par with ignoring Barnes, trading away Ariza, and burying David Lee on the depth chart. However there’s no doubt that the team squandered the talent on an already resource poor team.

Not everything was bad for D’Antoni in 2010. He did help along some of the younger players. Danilo Gallinari didn’t turn into a superstar, but played well for a 21 year old. Meanwhile 23 year old Toney Douglas and 22 year old Bill Walker were surprisingly productive, albeit in limited minutes. And the ability to recognize David Lee’s passing ability and run the offense through him was pretty inventive. Depending on who the Knicks sign this summer, many of the issues with D’Antoni are likely to vanish. However human weaknesses often appear under the worst stress and strain, and perhaps 2010 was a magnifying glass on what D’Antoni doesn’t do well.

Report Card (5 point scale):

In order to grade D’Antoni I’m going to use a different set of metrics. In a recent interview, Henry Abbott of TrueHoop was asked about Nate McMillan and said this about NBA coaches:

The way to judge a coach is not to obsess over this or that little thing, but to look around the franchise and ask: Are the basketball players well-led? Do they give great effort at all times? Are the offense and defense generally efficient? Are the players on the roster well-deployed? Do the players believe in the coach as their leader? Is the staff on the same page?

So I’ll attempt to answer these questions, although I have to do so as an outsider, speculating where necessary.

Are the basketball players well-led? 3
Do they give great effort at all times? 3
Sometimes it’s hard to separate ability with effort, and perhaps with D’Antoni’s short rotation watching the same players with the same flaws become ingrained in my memory. I didn’t get the feeling that the team was ill-prepared or lethargic, but I didn’t feel that they were superbly organized or energetic.

Are the offense and defense generally efficient? 1
The offense has been what you’d expect, but the defense was just dreadful last season. If pushed I could go with a 2, but when you consider that D’Antoni wasted so many minutes on Jared Jeffries, you’d expect better than the 3rd worst defense in the NBA. Additionally he could have moved David Lee back to PF in order to better protect the paint.

Are the players on the roster well-deployed? -5
By far D’Antoni’s worst ability, as mentioned above.

Do the players believe in the coach as their leader? NA
Impossible to answer this question from my perspective.

Is the staff on the same page? 5
I’ve never heard any dissent from the other coaches or even the front office. Considering that one of the assistant coaches is kin, and that Donnie Walsh has gone out on a limb to protect his coach, this is D’Antoni’s strength so far.

Final Grade: F

2010 Report Card: Toney Douglas

Douglas’ initial season with the Knicks was filled with ups and downs. His NBA career started on a sour note, as some New Yorkers were upset that in a point guard rich draft, the team failed to fill its void with either Brandon Jennings or Ty Lawson. Following the draft, Douglas had a poor showing in summer league, shooting a feeble 28.8% eFG%. However at the start of the season, he played well enough to make the rotation. In mid-November on the heels of a 21 point outburst off the bench, D’Antoni made him the starting shooting guard. The Knick rookie played well enough, dropping 23 in a loss against the Hawks.

And that’s when things took another downturn for Douglas. The next night he would come off the bench, and following that his minutes would begin to fluctuate. He started on November 18th, but only managed 12 minutes of court time. By then Larry Hughes was on a shooting streak, and D’Antoni would stick with his hot hand playing the veteran over the rookie. Even when Hughes crawled into the coach’s doghouse in mid-December, Douglas would find court time sporadically. It wouldn’t be until early March that D’Antoni would awaken Douglas from his winter hibernation and allow him to see regular action again. From March 12th until the end of the regular season, he played 25+ minutes in every game save for two.

Douglas-Minutes-Per-Month

Perhaps what surprised me most about Douglas’ 2010 season was his efficient scoring (57.1% TS%); prior to the start of the season I envisioned him having a TS% under 50%. However I remain curious if he can keep this efficiency so high. Douglas didn’t earn a lot of trips to the free throw line and shooting percentage is volatile season to season. To his credit an overwhelming majority of his shots (73.4% according to HoopData) come either from downtown or point blank. Perhaps his scoring competency relies more on his ability to take intelligent shots.

Although his shooting might be suspect going into next year, his vigorous defense isn’t likely to wane. Douglas remains vivacious on defense, continually moving his feet. He’s a threat in the passing lanes and plays good ball denial as well. Another area where his physical ability and his intelligence make him an asset to the team.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 3
Defense: 4
Teamwork: 4
Rootability: 5
Performance/Expectations: 5

Final Grade: A-

Similarity Scores:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS eFG PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Toney Douglas 2010 NYK 14.9 57.1 54.5 15.9 1.3 3.6 3.7 1.4 0.1 1.8
.037 Leandro Barbosa 2006 PHO 15.1 58.9 55.8 16.8 0.7 3.4 3.6 1.1 0.1 2.0
.039 Kevin Gamble 1989 BOS 15.8 58.4 55.9 18.0 1.1 4.0 3.3 1.3 0.3 1.8
.047 George Hill 2010 SAS 14.7 57.2 52.9 15.2 0.7 3.2 3.6 1.1 0.4 1.6
.055 Mike Glenn 1979 NYK 15.5 56.7 54.1 17.9 0.9 2.5 4.2 1.1 0.2 2.0
.064 Reggie Miller 1989 IND 15.7 60.2 53.8 16.8 1.0 4.1 3.2 1.3 0.4 2.0
.066 Rudy Fernandez 2009 POR 15.5 58.8 55.2 14.7 0.8 3.7 2.9 1.2 0.2 1.6
.078 Kyle Macy 1981 PHO 14.5 56.7 52.3 16.2 1.1 3.2 3.9 1.9 0.1 2.3
.084 Jim Paxson 1981 POR 16.9 56.4 53.7 18.0 1.0 2.8 4.0 1.9 0.1 1.7
.088 Chris Mullin 1987 GSW 15.8 58.0 52.4 18.8 0.6 2.7 4.0 1.5 0.5 2.3
.091 Hubert Davis 1994 NYK 14.0 55.8 52.4 16.6 0.6 1.8 4.5 1.1 0.1 2.1

It’s good that great players like Reggie Miller and Chris Mullin appear on this list, but Douglas sees himself as a point guard not scoring guard. It’s no secret that D’Antoni has a disdain of playing combo guards at the point. Douglas would be wise to work on his passing skills this offseason.

The silverlining on his comparables is the guy at the top of the list: Leandro Barbosa. The Brazillian Blur thrived under D’Antoni in Phoenix, so perhaps Douglas is playing for the right coach. Barbosa did increase the number of free throw attempts and points per minute as he progressed, so that is another barometer on Douglas’ development.

Between Barbosa and Gamble, it appears that Douglas ceiling in the NBA is as a reserve guard. Perhaps his defense, coupled with a strong playmaker at another position (ahem LeBron) could make him starting material.

2010 Report Card: Wilson Chandler

Here’s what I wrote in Chandler’s report card last year:

One question that remains is how Chandler will develop. On the optimistic side, he did make strides in multiple areas in 2009. Chandler improved his free throw shooting (63.0% to 79.5%), three point shooting (30.0% to 32.8%), scoring (13.4 to 15.6pts/36), assists (1.7 to 2.2 ast/36) and fouls (4.4 to 3.3 pf/36). But these numbers are pedestrian. The young swingman doesn’t do anything great, and his rebounding, blocks, and steals are about what you’d expect from an average 6-8 small forward. His scoring volume is above average (15.6 pts/36) but his efficiency is below (48.0% eFG, 51.5 TS%). Perhaps that’s Chandler’s lot in the NBA: to be the generic player.

For Chandler to make strides and become a genuine NBA starter, he’ll need to make another step in his development. One area could be his three point shooting. Connecting once on every three attempts is too low especially for someone that’s likely to see a lot of attempts in D’Antoni’s system. But a more critical leap would be for Chandler to get to the line more often. Last year he was second to last on the team in FTM/FGA, a measure of a player’s ability to draw contact on the offensive end. Frequently when he gets the ball in the paint, he ends up with a turn around jumper, instead of making a strong move to the hoop. Chandler needs to summon “Ill-Will” when he’s within 6 of the basket.

The good news is that Chandler did increase his scoring efficiency, going from a true shooting percentage of 51.5% to a more respectable 53.4%. The bad news is how he did it. There are a few ways to increase your TS%. Two main ones that would coincide with a sign of Chandler’s development are increasing the number of times converting from the charity stripe and an uptick in three point percentage. However Wilson did neither of these as he scored fewer singles and connected less often from downtown in 2010. His fta/36 fell from 2.8 to 2.5 and his ftm/fga dropped as well (from .16 to .15). Meanwhile his three point percentage was a shameful 26.7%.

So how did Chandler increase his efficiency? Simple, he changed what type of shots he attempted.

Chandler-2010

According to Hoopdata, Chandler dramatically reduced the number of treys in favor for a trip to the rack. By taking more shots in the paint instead of behind the line Chandler’s TS% jumped almost 2 percentage points. Basically when Chandler would receive the ball for an open three he’d head fake then drive towards the hoop instead. On the one hand it’s good that this correction was made and Chandler is a better shooter, but on the other it’s not the kind of improvement you want from a 22 year old. In other words you could say that Wilson Chandler didn’t get better in 2010, but rather the coaching staff made him better.

Chandler’s supporters will point out that he was recovering from injury and didn’t have the offseason to expand on his game. While his detractors will note that Chandler’s recent injuries could be a concern as well. In addition to his surgery last summer, the swingman sat for the last month of the season. Hopefully his moniker “Ill-Will” won’t start to represent his fragile state.

A year later, the question still remains how Chandler will develop. I’ll give him credit for being able to make the change in his game to forsake the three ball. However if Wilson Chandler wants to remain an NBA starter, especially playing for downtown happy Mike D’Antoni, he’ll need to do much more than that.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 2
Defense: 3
Teamwork: 3
Rootability: 3
Performance/Expectations: 2

Final Grade: C

Similarity Scores:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS eFG PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Wilson Chandler 2010 NYK 13.7 53.4 50.2 15.4 1.4 5.4 2.1 0.7 0.8 1.7
.042 Kirk Snyder 2006 NOK 14.6 53.7 50.3 14.9 1.5 4.4 2.8 0.8 0.6 1.9
.052 Tim Thomas 2000 MIL 14.7 54.9 50.3 16.3 1.7 5.7 1.9 1.0 0.5 2.2
.052 Chris Carr 1997 MIN 13.3 55.6 51.8 14.6 1.3 4.9 2.1 1.0 0.4 1.6
.057 Chucky Brown 1991 CLE 12.0 55.5 52.4 15.2 1.9 5.2 1.9 0.6 0.6 2.3
.061 Sean Elliott 1991 SAS 14.2 56.4 50.0 15.4 1.7 5.4 2.8 0.8 0.4 1.7
.062 Richard Jefferson 2003 NJN 16.6 56.3 50.4 15.5 1.9 6.4 2.5 1.0 0.6 2.0
.064 Jeff Green 2009 OKC 13.9 53.6 49.1 16.2 1.5 6.5 1.9 1.0 0.4 2.2
.076 Mike Miller 2003 TOT 14.7 53.7 49.8 16.6 0.8 5.6 2.8 0.7 0.3 2.1
.077 Kenny Walker 1987 NYK 13.3 53.6 49.1 14.9 2.5 7.1 1.6 1.0 1.0 1.6
.087 Nenad Krstic 2006 NJN 14.4 54.1 50.8 15.7 2.7 7.5 1.3 0.5 0.9 1.9

This list doesn’t bode well for Chandler’s development. The upside is Mike Miller, Richard Jefferson and Sean Elliot, but the downside is a lot of busts and replacement level players. If Chandler doesn’t show significant improvement, he might see himself playing for the Zhejiang Horses too.

2010 Report Card: Eddy Curry

Given Curry’s lack of court time last year there’s no point in doing any kind of statistical analysis of him. In fact he’s only played 10 games total in his 2 seasons under D’Antoni. And I don’t foresee any more in a New York uniform. At this point he’s merely a big contract, a tumor on the Knicks cap space. If Curry has the desire to play elsewhere, the Knicks can buy him out and save some money for free agency this summer. If he doesn’t New York can use his contract in a trade. The latter might cause more of a problem because the Knicks would have to include some tangible assets, and last I checked most of them went in the Tracy McGrady swap.

As for Curry the player, he was 90% as athletic as Shaq, but only had 10% of the Big Diesel’s skill set. Curry featured the same 3 or 4 moves that were defendable with a double team or defender drawing a charge. And while Shaq rounded out his game with great rebounding, defense and passing, Curry lacked any semblance of these skills. Curry came into the league as a guy that if you gave him the ball often enough he would give you 20 points trailed by a string of deficiencies. He never evolved beyond that.

Eddy’s biggest shortcoming was not being able to improve himself. When Eddy Curry arrived in New York, he was supposed to turn into the franchise center. What he failed to grasp was that he was supposed to grow into that role, not fall into it. I won’t be surprised if another team gives Curry a chance. But no one is going to throw a big contract at him, or even hand him a starting job. His upside now is a decent backup center, one that can provide a some scoring off the bench. And that’s the best case scenario. I won’t be surprised if he fails to accumulate 1000 minutes in a season again.

Ultimately Eddy Curry’s legacy in New York will be a cautionary tale. Becoming a great athlete is more than just size and physical ability. At the highest levels, sports are about preparation, technique, and desire. Many players have excelled in the league beyond their bodily limitations due to an excess of these attributes. On the other hand plenty of beastly youths have failed to reach their potential. For teams scouting young players, having great physical ability without great yield should be a warning sign that the player is lacking in the mental traits to make them into a franchise player. Eddy Curry’s career is the response to “you can’t teach height”, or more succinctly put “production trumps athleticism”.

2010 Report Card: David Lee

This year the New York Knicks added a new wrinkle to their offense. A good portion of their half court set consisted of keeping David Lee on the perimeter with the ball, allowing him to orchestrate the offense. I’m not exactly sure why this was done, perhaps D’Antoni wanted to bring the opposing center on the perimeter to open the middle. Or perhaps the Knicks coach wished to experiment during a meaningless season.

In any case the General was up to the task, and notched the highest assist rate of his career (3.5 ast/36). Lee actually has a good touch passing the ball. He’s capable of the cross court pass, and near the top of the key he could hit an open teammate on a diagonal. In 2010 he was basically playing the point guard role in the half court set, selecting where the ball would go. He complemented this move to the exterior with his jump shooting, which seems to be ever improving.

David-Lee-Shooting-Perc

The numbers above are from HoopData, which doesn’t include Lee’s rookie year. Lee’s mid-range game appeared in 2008, and this year he’s added the deeper jump shot. From the chart above, he’s about equally proficient anywhere inside of 23 feet. The ability to hoist it up has allowed Lee to become a more voluminous scorer, as his pts/36 is almost double his rookie year output (11.0 to 19.6 pts/36).

But these positives did not occur without any drawbacks. First is Lee’s offensive rebounding, which dropped for the 3rd straight season to a career low of 2.7 reb/36. Secondly, playing Lee as the center instead of power forward hurt the team’s interior defense. The paint might as well have been in the Delta Quadrant for Knick defenders, because on most nights resistance was futile. Lee had a Zach Randolph-esque rate of blocked shots (Lee: 0.5, Randolph: 0.4 blk/36) which would be more livable from the power forward spot. But from the center position it was a clear detriment to the team.

Nonetheless Lee’s season was overall a success, especially when you consider that he made his first All Star appearance. Granted Lee isn’t an All Star caliber player like LeBron James or Dwight Howard are, but he showed that despite his flaws his strengths make him one of the league’s best big men.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 5
Defense: 1
Teamwork: 5
Rootability: 4
Performance/Expectations: 4

Final Grade: B+

Similarity Scores:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS eFG PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 David Lee 2010 NYK 22.2 58.4 54.5 19.6 2.7 11.3 3.5 1.0 0.5 2.3
.058 Carlos Boozer 2008 UTA 21.9 58.1 54.7 21.8 2.5 10.7 3.0 1.3 0.5 2.7
.112 Brad Daugherty 1992 CLE 23.0 62.9 57.0 21.3 2.6 10.4 3.6 0.9 1.1 2.5
.180 Jack Sikma 1982 SEA 20.6 55.9 48.0 19.0 2.6 12.3 3.3 1.2 1.3 2.5
.184 Terry Mills 1994 DET 17.7 55.2 52.1 17.9 2.5 8.7 2.3 0.8 0.8 2.0
.195 Brad Miller 2003 IND 19.3 57.9 49.7 15.1 2.9 9.6 3.1 1.0 0.7 1.9
.199 Shareef Abdur-Rahim 2003 ATL 20.0 56.6 48.7 18.8 2.0 7.9 2.8 1.0 0.4 2.4
.206 Mike Gminski 1986 NJN 19.0 59.4 51.7 19.0 2.9 9.5 1.9 0.8 1.0 2.0
.207 Otis Thorpe 1989 HOU 15.4 59.1 54.2 15.7 3.1 9.0 2.3 0.9 0.4 2.6
.215 Craig Smith 2010 LAC 16.9 59.9 57.1 17.1 2.8 8.4 2.5 1.0 0.7 2.6
.218 Charles Oakley 1990 NYK 15.9 58.0 52.4 14.6 4.2 11.9 2.4 1.0 0.3 2.7

After last year’s similarity scores (Jerome Whitehead? Loy Vaught?), I was a bit afraid of what Lee’s future may hold. But this year he seems to be on the right track with that high correspondence with Boozer. The list seems to be an accurate representation of Lee; players who score efficiently and can handle the rock, but with questionable defensive skills. Since his high assist numbers are partly a function of his role D’Antoni’s offense, it’ll be interesting to see how he is used on another team should he bolt via free agency. Will another coach give him the freedom to manage the offense, or will he go back to his role as a pick & roll/pop power forward?

Birth Of A Knick Fan For Life

Today’s article is by Lee Davis, director of the films 3AM and Hoop Realities and life-long Knick fan. Lee won first prize in the “Can You Be A KnickerBlogger?” for this contribution.


I was about eight years old, strolling through midtown holding my fathers hand when we both turned towards the sound of screams. A man plummeted past the side of a building, landing with a thud behind the row of parked cars along the curb. My dad was shaken up. Me? I wanted to get a look at what was left of the guy.

Minutes later we stood in front of the Penn Hotel, just across the street from The Garden. Beside us, waiting for the light to change, was Clyde Frazier, complete with flowing trench-coat and hat. I was in awe. Superhero music played in my head. My Dad smiled, said a coupla words to him, and Clyde reached down and shook my hand with a grin.

Birth of a Knick fan for life. Recently I wonder if maybe it had less to do with meeting Clyde than with the incident that occurred earlier that day. Maybe it was more my own inner fascination with the grotesque. Deep down there is something about a train wreck that captures the curiosity — a need to see how bad it really looks. Maybe thats why the Garden still has so many sell-outs.

Knick fans like myself are hoping for Christmas in July. Ignoring the pundits who speculate one way or the other, I am content to wait. I want LeBron. I want to keep David Lee. But like a magic trick, I think the real action is where the audience is not looking. My eyes are on a deal for Ricky Rubio. D’Antoni needs a player to push the pedal to the metal. Donnie Walsh knows that on Broadway you need characters — with character. Clyde, Bradley, DeBusschere, Reed. It is about winning, yes, but the true goal is to forge a team identity. An aura. A feeling that fans want to be a part of.

Imagine the mop-headed Rubio in a Knick jersey throwing alley-oops to LeBron, or no-look passes to Gallo from three. Lebron encouraging his teammates to believe in each other. Wilson Chandler emerging as the star they keep pleading with him to be.

Suddenly the Mecca of Basketball really is again.

An uptempo team offense is not a cover for poor defense. But a few blowout victories, buoyed by a quick start in exhibition on an international stage, and suddenly D’Antoni is the Coach he really thinks he is, and everyone else is wrong, that is at least until the playoffs.

Hoping for the best here. Hoping for the third seed next year.

Not that it matters. Either way they know we’ll be watching.Even if they acquire no players of significance, and let David Lee walk. We’ll watch. We can’t help it.

We’ll be that eight year old, struggling to get a clear look at the damage.

Earlimart Barron

“The universe opens up the door
and we go right in, it’s there, it’s new, it’s cool
it’s something we ain’t seen before”
–“Happy Alone”, by Earlimart

The Knicks signed Earl Barron on April 2nd which could have been misconstrued as a late April Fools Joke. At 28 years old Barron can hardly be considered a prospect. He went undrafted out of Memphis, played in Turkey, the NBDL and 3 anonymous seasons in Miami. However upon joining the Knicks Barron immediately found himself in D’Antoni’s rotation and due to The D’Antoni Rules™ #1 & #2, is seeing a lot of playing time.

I’m as shocked as anyone, especially how the Knicks coach has treated 7-footers in his New York tenure. Last year Cheikh Samb, Mouhamed Sene, Courtney Sims, and Jerome James totaled a mere 35 minutes on the season. So far in 3 games this year, Barron has played 91 minutes. That’s more than either Eddy Curry (62) or Darko Milicic (71). And to make things more bizarre, Barron is playing exceptionally well. The last is unfathomable, because his 3000 or so minutes in the NBDL and NBA indicated that he was unlikely to be a solid NBA player.

Granted I expect Barron’s numbers will eventually decline from their current sizzling level. I don’t expect that he all of a sudden turned into Moses Malone on the glass (13.1 reb/36) or gained a Nowitzki-esque jumper (54.3% eFG). Earl is shooting 70% from 16-23 feet, a rate that I think he’ll have trouble sustaining.

But in a season where there has been little to cheer about on the court, the Knicks look good with Barron on the floor. Perhaps it’s because he gives them their first legitimate center in years. Perhaps it’s a novelty, like when excitement was generated after they traded for McGrady, House, and Rodriguez. Perhaps he’s actually the right fit for D’Antoni’s scheme, one that could enhance his strengths and help mask his weaknesses. Maybe it’s because the Knicks are actually winning. For a team struggling to get to 30 wins, taking 2 of the last 3 will make that beer taste more refreshing. Whatever it is the team has gotten more pleasant to watch, and as a long time suffering Knick fan I’m going to enjoy the moment while it lasts.