Mike D'Antoni Doesn't Believe In Lame Ducks

Mike D’Antoni has one year and $6 million left on his contract to serve as head coach of the New York Knicks.  Since he took over in 2008, the team’s record is 103-143. He’s won zero playoff games, made one playoff appearance, and chronologically finished fifth, third, and second in the Atlantic Division. There’s been improvement, but with the drastic modification in player personnel it’d be tough to say the win increase is thanks to D’Antoni’s competent leadership instead of a couple physical offensive geniuses. A team with Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billups—possibly a future coach himself—is going to win games, but while on New York for the last two months of the season their success played out as more a byproduct of their own astonishing talent than the coach’s system. If anything it stuck them in the mud as an average, predictable basketball team.

D’Antoni was brought to New York because of his sexy offensive system. Through three seasons it’s been a mere mirage. Sure the Knicks are scoring points (they finished fourth in the league in points per game in 2008-09 and second this past season. The combined record of those two seasons was 16 games below .500.) but they aren’t doing it with efficiency. Their pace was tied for second highest in the league last year, right after Minnesota, the worst team in basketball.

If the very reason D’Antoni was hired is no longer a relevant selling point or reason as to why he should remain coach, then why is he so confident he won’t be thrown overboard?

This from the Post:

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said he is not worried at all about being back next season, though his greatest ally, president Donnie Walsh, is leaving on June 30 after turning down James Dolan’s contract-extension offer.

D’Antoni told The Post yesterday, in his first interview since the season ended, that he is not concerned about his future with the Knicks.

“No, I feel good,” D’Antoni said. “I hate it Donnie is leaving. I owe a lot to him. We had three good years. He did exactly what he wanted and said he would do and he’s got us in position to be one of the better teams in the NBA next year. That’s to his credit.

Twitter: @BucketsOverBway

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