The Knicks’ fifth consecutive loss, a listless display at MSG versus Philly yesterday featured the return of Tyson Chandler, but also the 4th quarter benching of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. “‘Maybe he (Mike D’Antoni) was trying to save us for tomorrow. I’m not sure. That’s something you have to ask him.’ muttered Anthony after the game, though with the Knicks’ 2011-12 sinking fast, it might also be the soon-t0-be free agent head coach is eager to distance himself from a superstar he never wanted to acquire. The New York Daily News’ Fillip Bondy poses the “a team with a coach-killing roster – or is it a roster-killing coach?”
D’Antoni has no more Jeremy Lins up his sleeve. He doesn’t seem overly concerned about rescuing his job, either. D’Antoni has been trying in vain for a year to mesh these disparate talents, to tame overblown expectations in New York. He sounds tired of it all, as if he’d much rather be coaching a team in Philadelphia or Denver, free from the burden of self-styled stars.
“I think that’s the way to go,” he said on Sunday about Philly’s balanced lineup. “Every coach wants to play that way. They’re doing a great job and Doug (Collins) does a great job. It should always be a team game. I think Denver made that case, a lot of people are making that case. Every coach aspires to everybody sharing the ball and stats don’t matter.”
D’Antoni also mentioned Miami isn’t doing badly with their triumvirate of stars, that there is another way to build a contender. But by citing Denver, the coach singled out a franchise that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. He was, essentially, second-guessing a deal heartily endorsed by ownership.