With the Knicks personnel no longer ideally suited for Mike D’Antonio’s ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ system, he is adjusting his playbook.
“Probably,” D’Antoni said Thursday when asked if this is the biggest adjustment he has had to make as a head coach since 2004. “Really, there’s all kinds of different ways you can play it, and we’re going to try to maximize just what the players do.”
Carmelo Anthony’s skills are perhaps an antithesis to D’Antoni’s ball-and-player movement philosophy.
“We’re always going to be a little bit of an iso, one-on-one kind of a team, which, to be honest with you, is pretty good,” D’Antoni said.
While D’Antoni is willing to adapt, he doesn’t want to abandon his identity.
“I think we’ll meet some place halfway in between,” he said Thursday, “because we don’t want to lose what Melo and those guys do the best. A lot of it is going one-on-one. They’re the best in the league at it.”
Anthony spent several summers with D’Antoni on the United States national team, which essentially ran D’Antoni’s system.
“It’s kind of hard to double-team guys in this offensive set that we run,” Anthony said. “I like it, and it’s only going to get better.”
D’Antoni is simply being pragmatic with his offensive adjustments.
“I think we’ll all make adjustments and we’ll all make sacrifices,” D’Antoni said, “and the end product should be: This is the best we can play. Whatever that is, we’ll do.”
That last line about what the end product will be is very telling. D’Antoni is rather adept at suppressing the hysteria that most New Yorkers have towards their beloved Knicks. I am worse than most. But, no one can deny they’re a contender again, if not this year, then certainly next. If there is a next year.
I have more to say about the SSOL philosophy that makes me want to hug D’Antoni and makes my old school pops cringe, but I’ll leave that to another time when I’m not behind at work - yea I don’t get to do this full time :(