Right Field

Knicks Autopsy: Death by D’Antoni

Rajon Rondo left behind his late-season blues and returned to glorious form, pushing the Celtics to their first playoff sweep of an opponent since the early Nineties. His average stat line for the series: 42 minutes, 19 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 12 assists — numbers worthy of Magic Johnson.

Mike D’Antoni’s speedball will never win a playoff series, since a good defensive team like the Celtics will always shut it down, just like San Antonio did when they faced D’Antoni’s Phoenix Suns a few years ago. And his coaching in this series was just terrible. The Knicks did little defensively to adjust to Boston’s screens, or anything else Boston ran offensively. The Knicks defensive breakdowns were embarrassingly frequent; the Celtics scored on easy layups time and time again. D’antoni’s offensive advice in the fourth quarter of game four was basically: “quickly chuck up threes.” And how many turnovers did the Knicks have to end that game? The Knicks should look for a coach better suited to Amar’e and Carmelo’s formidable half-court skills.

Brian C. Anderson — Mr. Anderson is editor of City Journal and author of Democratic Capitalism and Its Discontents, South Park Conservatives, and other books.


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