Steve Nash or Jeremy Lin?
THIS FALLS ON D'ANTONI
The New York Knicks are floundering -- and it's time to place some blame on their coach.
Mike D'Antoni has had ample time to mesh the personnel on his roster and put together a consistent rotation. He hasn't.
When is D'Antoni finally going to do something drastic? How about moving Stoudemire or Jeremy Lin out of the starting five and sending some sort of message?
Sounds crazy, but when your talent-laden team has lost six straight games and, with that, its entire cushion in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, it's time to make a change or two.
D'Antoni is making $6 million a year. He's supposed to be an offensive genius. The excuse for the longest time was that he didn't have a point guard. Then Lin came out of nowhere and saved his job.
But that seems like forever ago.
The Knicks have gotten away from the powerful pick-and-roll offense that made them so successful during that two-week span where they became a national sensation.
Melo and Amare haven't been able to coexist on the court. An injured Tyson Chandler remains the team's primary screener. And Lin has struggled so badly, he doesn't even do his pressers at the podium anymore.
The Knicks' roster may not be perfect, but it's more than good enough to make a run.
D'Antoni needs to be held accountable. He may not deserve to take the fall, but he might have to if the Knicks continue to plummet out of contention.
After all, you can't be the most dangerous team in the playoffs if you don't qualify for them.
THIS IS THE PLAYERS' FAULT ... AND CARMELO
It's easy to blame Mike D'Antoni for the Knicks' struggles. And he certainly deserves his fair share. But don't ignore the players' culpability in all of this. Because they're more at fault than the coach. In particular, I'm looking at Carmelo Anthony.
Just look at what's happened in the past three weeks. Since Anthony returned from injury, the Knicks have lost eight of 10 and haven't been the same on either end of the floor.
They are in the midst of a six-game skid and woke up Tuesday morning in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Is this Melo's fault alone? No, but it's hard to ignore how well things were going when he was out with a groin injury.
Remember, the Knicks had won seven straight and were back at .500 thanks to the emergence of Jeremy Lin.
Sure, the schedule wasn't exactly a murderers row, but Lin ran a Knicks offense predicated on ball movement and spacing -- something the team had been missing in the first six weeks of the season. He penetrated seemingly at will to create open shots for his teammates. He did all of this while Anthony was on the sideline.
Many wondered then how Anthony would fit in upon his return. He's at his best in isolation, but the Knicks' offense under Lin didn't foster many iso opportunities.
Of course, things couldn't have gone much worse since Anthony returned Feb. 20. The Knicks lost to the Nets that night to kick off their 2-8 free-fall.
Aside from the team's awful record, the situation in the locker room seems to be deteriorating.
Anthony was visibly upset after he didn't get the ball late in the Knicks' loss to the Bulls on Monday. His frustration boiled over in the locker room, when he said everything about the Knicks situation "sucks."
It sure does. But if Anthony doesn't know why that is, he should look in the mirror.