The format to any successful franchise is to have a sound plan on how you want to build your team and how you want it to be coached. The Spurs are the ultimate example of how you stick to your plan and reload with lateral moves to remain strong and consistent year in and year out. The Tony Parker, Manu and Duncan era of the spurs have been so successful because every single year they refresh the team with young talent that compliment that core 3. The Spurs know they want Duncan at power forward. Any other team would instantly make him their center. They understand how they want to use his strengths so they always had a grunt at center that was busy enough to do everything they need inside without stepping on Duncan's toes. They know they want Parker attacking the rim at all times, so they always put an above average shooter right next to him. They could have easily put Manu at that starting shooting guard spot. They want Manu to bring his offense and creativity off the bench. His talent could be used according to how the game was going. Keeping his minutes down off the bench Allowed Manu to go 100 miles a minute and still be relatively fresh game to game. Their small forward always was a glue guy that could shoot, defend and finish within the flow of the offense.
Enough stating the obvious. Check out the Knicks next opponent, The New Orleans Pelicans. People immediately talk about the Draft because they have former #1 pick Anthony Davis in the squad. They ignore the fact that every other player on the team was picked up via trade or free agent signing. The foundation sits directly on Anthony Davis Shoulders, but the first piece to the puzzle was acquiring Eric Gordon from the clippers. They eventually acquired Ryan Anderson from Orlando as well. This off season they traded their #1 pick for Jrue Holiday and also signed Tyreke Evans via free agency. Put that all together and all of a sudden you have a playoff caliber team within just a few seasons. Mix in several grunt style role players and a brilliant hard nosed young coach in Monty Williams and you are staring longevity in the face.
Why can't the Knicks paint that picture for success? The Knicks did everything right under Donnie Walsh to get the team under the cap and signed Amare Stoudamire. They piled enough talent to pull the trigger on a Carmelo Anthony trade. Where they went wrong was using Chancey Billups contract and acquiring Tyson Chandler from Dallas. Stopping right there.....They went and got Amare, Melo and Chandler and never went out to get a point guard. They were so lucky to have Lin and Baron Davis fall into our laps. So much for luck. Baron completely blew out his knee in the playoffs then the Knicks totally blew that Jeremy Lin contract situation in the off season. We then picked up Felton from the scrap heap. That essentially is the whole problem. Take Amare or Tyson out of the equation and stick a true point guard with some legs left in them and we have a very good basketball team. Nobody had the mind to think that you can't have a selfish scorer, a one dimensional dunker, and a offensively challenged center and not have an above average point guard. It's like we though we could stick anyone there and win. It doesn't help that Woodson wants to isolate everyone instead of running an offense. So now after the Indiana playoff series last season, they do what seemed to all be the right things. They brought in another proven scorer to help Melo in Bargnani. They added a veteran point guard coming off a decent showing in Orlando in Beno Urich. You had to think Amare, Kmart and Shumpert were all going to improve coming until the season. Felton said he lost 20 pounds. We picked up Metta World Peace and an outstanding rookie in Tim Hardaway Jr. What went wrong? Basically everything, but that everything goes back to when the knicks made the decision to trade for Melo. The Knicks immediately needed a top notch point guard. We didn't have to wait for Chris Paul but the knicks had options at the time to improve. Poor Tony Douglas. I already mentioned Lin and Baron.
So now we are 3-12. What's the plan?
If we want to build around Melo, first and foremost we need to get the ball out of his hands and in the hands of an above average ball handler. Melo is the go to guy for sure but the coach wants the ball to start and end with him isolating on every play. He expects the rest of the guys to play off that. That in turn means the coach and his entire staff need to go. The knicks also have Amare under plastic wrap where the guy plays every other game and at only 20 minutes a pop. That is detrimental to team chemistry and it needs to be eradicated. 3 simple moves. Can it be done? Yes. The question is when will the knicks get off their asses and take control.
As I stated in a previous blog, Isaiah Thomas is a young dynamic talent dangling in the wind right now on Sacramento's bench. He's not Chris Paul but he's on par with any young point guard you can think of. He's not dangling because he sucks. You can't average 17pts per game and suck. The Kings just took a stand and decided to build around Grievas and Ben Mclemore in their back court. Right off the bat the knicks could trade Felton and Shumpert for Thompson and Isaiah Thomas. It's a clear fit for both teams with what they are trying to do. Next you eliminate Amare from the equation with the best trade available that helps our franchise, or you simply send him home. Next you trade Beno and Metta for second round picks to contenders out of respect to them. You clean up your mess and set the ship in the right course. We can accelerate the 2015 plan for 2014 where Melo is going to be a free agent. We take a stand now and show everyone we are dead serious about winning. As of right now we are headed back to being the laughing stock of the league. Thankfully the Brooklyn nets suck too because They would have been front runners in kicking us while we're down.