As the Knicks wait to undergo another reincarnation, Donnie Walsh contemplates signing the short-term Answer, while hoping Eddy Curry’s weight loss will provide a long-term gain (trade). Donnie’s myriad of issues would have been negated with one move on draft-day 2009. By-Passing Brandon Jennings while selecting Jordan Hill will have a long-term impact on the Knicks, Mike D’Antoni, and the City.
Although the Knicks defeated the previous team that Donnie Walsh ruined, his current team’s outlook remains dismal. In eleven games the team’s focus and point of emphasis has changed on three different occasions, and the signing of AI is an indication of an organization that lacks commitment and structure. During the preseason the focus was to establish Gallinari as a featured player and justify his selection in last year’s draft. The best shooter that Mike D’Antoni ever saw has illustrated the ability to hit the open shot, but his inability to create his shot, move without the ball. The Knicks do not have a point guard that can create easy shots via pick and rolls or drives that would force the other teams to collapse, allowing the point to kick out to Danillo for his open set shot. Danillo would thrive playing with a point guard with Jennings skills. Passing on Jennings will stunt Danillo’s growth.
The Knicks secondary objective coming out of training camp was to see if Wilson Chandler would make a significant jump as a player at the two. Wilson played inside in college and his development as a two would be enhanced by a point guard that can handle the ball, that is a threat as a scorer, and one that can run, allowing Wilson to fill the lane on the fast-break. These are Jennings strengths. Passing on Jennings will not allow Chandler to take his game to the next level. Acquiring Iverson will set Wilson’s game back two-levels.
Iverson is entertaining, but he has never been a point guard. In fact Larry Brown was able to get his team to the finals by moving Iverson to the two and allowing Eric Snow to play the point. Iverson drives to score, not to create for others. Signing Iverson is not a good idea.
As the losses pile up Mike D’Antoni’s frustration level continues to rise. The affable individual that was on display at his introductory press conference has turmed into a defensive caustic personality. D’Antoni needs a floor general to succeed. Mike needs a coach on the floor to make decisions, because in-game coaching is not his strength. He needs and individual that wants to run, can create, score, and is a leader. Someone the other players enjoy sharing the court. A player that is confident and assertive. An individual that enjoys playing the game and wants to get better. D’Antoni needs someone that he believes in, so that he can give him the keys to the car. Mike knew that Brandon Jennings was his guy. Jennings has led a Milwaukee team that starts Hakim Warrick, Carlos Delfino Andrew Bogut, & Charlie Bell to a six and three start, while the Knicks are two and nine.
Mike is not handling this well. Mike understands that the losses go on his coaching record, but he allows Donnie to suffer losses by not playing Hill while Jennings succeeds. This can only make Donnie look bad. Donnie is very close to losing his coach, (mentally, he’s not walking away from the cash). Jennings would have negated these issue from ever happening. Passing on Jennings may cost Donnie his coach and require starting over, again.
The Apple is hurting. The Apple is hungry. It has been years since the team has had a winner, and even longer since the team had a player that possessed charisma and talent. The City would rally around someone that was drafted by the Knicks, grew as a Knick, and turned the team into a winner. Signing a free-agent is one thing, but a guy that is a Knick from the start, is what the City wants. How many Jennings Jerseys would be in the Garden today. How many fans would come to the Garden, eliminating the Knicks need to inflate the attendance numbers. As the Knicks look to Allen Iverson, Brandon Jennings was the Answer.
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