History has a funny way of repeating itself. When the Knicks became relevant after the Ewing draft… a Coach who led an unknown team to the promised land of the NCAA final four,,, became the knicks New Head Coach despite his total lack of NBA Head Coaching experience……Rick Pitino.
As of last Saturday Knicks fanatics bracketology has something in common with the majority of America. We all had our brackets busted all the way to the final four by VCU. This “at-large selection” has an uncanny similarity to that Providence team coached in 1986-87 by Rick Pitino. This feat was big enough for Pitino ( a former Knick assistant under Huble Brown) to be offered the young but talented Ewing led Knicks head coaching Job.
VCU’S ”Shaka Smart” has an uncanny similar style of coaching and it’s no secret that America is saying “Who is this Guy and this team?”
Smart’s team plays a style of basketball known as “havoc.” Smart described his “havoc” defensive philosophy during his introductory press conference as, “We are going to wreak havoc on our opponent’s psyche and their plan of attack.” On the court, the “havoc” defensive mindset is visible through the heavy use of the full court press and pressing after made baskets to disrupt opponents’ timing of offensive sets.
This again is an uncanny similarity to Rick Pitino’s signature. BTW.. Smart’s given name was bestowed in honor of the famous Zulu warrior.
Pitno’s Knicks made the playoffs his first year with a record of 38-44. His second and last year with the knicks he won the division with a 52-30 record. This was the team that Swept Charles Barkley’s Philly team 3-0 in the first round of the playoffs, then grabbed a Janitors broom ( led by Rod Strickland, Trent tucker and Mark Jackson) and team pushed the broom across the floor to mock the 76′s on their home court. as being “swept.” The venom created in Barkley’s mouth from that incident still spews today whenever he mentions the Knicks.
Shaka Smart is only 33 years old. Perhaps this young Coach is the right fit for our young talent? TD, Derrick Brown, Shawn and Shelden Williams, Landry Fields, Bill Walker are all young and built for Smart’s type defensive pressure. Melo & Amare could benefit from this type approach. Billups would get plenty of rest and be the fourth quarter floor general only he can be! Jared Jeffries would most likely be the one Knick that would look like a totally different Player in this type system. Jeffries size and quickness is a perfect match for this “Havoc” defense!
This is one of few options if you believe Mike Dantoni must go.