Archive for April 2nd, 2008

Remove Isiah this summer

Now that the Knicks have named Donnie Walsh president of basketball operations, after the season the team needs to relieve Isiah Thomas of his head coaching responsibility. Clean house. Separate the old from the new.

Ironically, here’s a fun idea that won’t happen: Bring Larry Brown in to coach the team. But not the current team. Bring him in after a bunch of key guys have been traded — assuming deals get made, that is. Anyway, it’s safe to say Brown will never be involved with the Knicks again unless the team has new owners someday, and that doesn’t appear likely anytime soon.

I like the idea of bringing Mark Jackson in as a member of the coaching staff, but he should get assistant coaching experience before being given a head coaching job.

Whatever happens, Isiah just has to go. There was no evidence of a good coaching job done this season. None. The team barely seemed to run any plays, and what few players looked decent last season all seemed to regress. I say scrap the entire coaching staff and bring in an entirely new crew.

How about an experienced, veteran head coach, experienced assistants, and then Patrick Ewing and Mark Jackson rounding out the staff?

Read the InsideHoops NBA Rumors page daily (as you should be doing already), and keep your eye on our site’s front page, for ideas about possible next coaches and much more.

Donnie Walsh is a good hire to control the Knicks. But the big question is if he’ll be allowed to truly rebuild the team from scratch, or if he’s going to continue the Isiah Thomas (and Scott Layden) tradition of just building upon something that doesn’t work.

It seems like the Knicks, for years now, only cared about trying to make the playoffs, and never even really tried to build a team that had a real shot at winning a championship. That they failed to even be decent is almost another story.

The Knicks need to clear house. In today’s press conference introducing Donnie Walsh as the new Knicks president of basketball operations, it was said the Knicks want to stay competitive but gain salary cap flexibility. That’s the wrong move. Don’t worry about staying competitive right away. (Wait, wasn’t the team trying to be competitive this season?) Clear house. Get almost everyone out. Start from scratch.

The Knicks need to try to do what the Seattle Sonics did. After realizing what they had wasn’t working, the Sonics got rid of everyone, managed to draft Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, won almost no games (yet just a few less than the current Knicks have) and have amazing salary cap flexibility for the future. Of course, while the Sonics may be leaving Seattle, the Knicks are firmly planted in New York City, a town that is a great selling point for superstars looking to rule the world in the future.

Removing Isiah from power is a step in the right direction. But let’s see if Walsh just keeps doing what Isiah was doing or does what he needs to do, begin a true rebuilding process that should see the majority of the team’s current players find a new home in the next season or two.

The Knicks today named Donnie Walsh president of basketball operations. Walsh just spent 25 years with the Indiana Pacers. Here’s a statement from Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird:

“The Indiana Pacers offer Donnie Walsh congratulations and wish him good luck in his new position.  The Knicks have a good man whose dedication to his job is unmatched.  I have learned a great deal from Donnie and he’s not only a role model but a great friend.  Given time, there’s no doubt in my mind Donnie will bring success to the Knicks much like he did with the Pacers.  On behalf of the entire Pacers organization, we wish him the best of luck.”

Donnie Walsh takes over Knicks

James L. Dolan, chairman of Madison Square Garden and president and chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, today announced that Donnie Walsh has been named president, basketball operations of the New York Knickerbockers, in charge of all basketball operations. Both Mr. Walsh and Steve Mills, president and chief operating officer of MSG Sports, will report directly to Mr. Dolan.

Full news announcement is here.

The big question here is if Knicks ownership will really let Walsh truly rebuild the squad from scratch, like they needed to do for years now. What Isiah Thomas kept trying to do is build upon something that wasn’t working, instead of tearing it down from scratch. Walsh needs to ship almost all the current players out as quickly as possible, and that could take quite a while — like, a full season or two, or more. And he needs to finally clear salary cap space and attempt to build a real team with legitimate championship hopes, instead of one that just hopes to reach the playoffs.

Apr. 1: Kings 99, Rockets 98

The AP reports: Ron Artest scored 30 points, Kevin Martin added 27 and the Sacramento Kings dealt a blow to Houston’s chances of winning the Southwest Division with a 99-98 victory over the Rockets on Tuesday night. The Rockets (49-25) fell 2 1/2 games behind New Orleans and San Antonio in the division race with only eight games remaining, hurting their chances of hosting a first-round playoff series. Tracy McGrady scored 32 to lead Houston, but missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have won it. The Rockets have lost five of eight since a franchise-record, 22-game winning streak… Luis Scola finished with 20 points and Rafer Alston had 18 for Houston.

Apr. 1: Nuggets 126, Suns 120

The AP reports: The Denver Nuggets frittered away a big lead over Phoenix for the second time in 24 hours, but unlike their drubbing in the desert, they recovered from their latest meltdown for a crucial 126-120 victory over the Suns at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night… “I love playing back-to-back games, especially after a loss,” said Allen Iverson, who led Denver with 31 points… Carmelo Anthony grabbed two key rebounds and sank two free throws in the final 27 seconds and finished with 25 points. Kenyon Martin chipped in 18 points and Smith had 17. Leandro Barbosa led the Suns with 27 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it with 15 seconds left… After Nash (17 points and 18 assists) missed a 3-pointer, Shaquille O’Neal got the rebound and drew the foul but missed both free throws.

Apr. 1: Spurs 116, Warriors 92

The AP reports: The San Antonio Spurs’ Big Three had a good night and two of the Golden State Warriors’ top three scorers had a bad one… Tony Parker led San Antonio with 26 points for a 116-92 victory Tuesday, with Tim Duncan adding 17 points and 12 rebounds and Manu Ginobili scoring 16… Baron Davis led the Warriors with 19 points in a game the Spurs controlled most of the way. Monta Ellis added 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting and had five turnovers for the Warriors. Stephen Jackson was just 2-of-12 from the field for six points, well below his 20-plus scoring average… C.J. Watson added 13 points for Golden State. Michael Finley scored 13 for San Antonio and Bruce Bowen 12. Fabricio Oberto grabbed 10 boards for the Spurs.

Apr. 1: Celtics 106, Bulls 92

The AP reports: Ray Allen scored 22 points, and Kevin Garnett added 20 and blocked four shots to lead the Celtics to a 106-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. Paul Pierce scored 17 for Boston, which won its fourth straight and remained six games ahead of Detroit in the conference standings. Allen was 5-of-7 on 3-pointers, Pierce hit 4 of 5 and Boston made 14 of 25 in all—one shy of its season-high. Chicago continued to fade from the playoff picture, despite getting a season-high 24 points from Tyrus Thomas, who started for the injured Drew Gooden, and 19 from Andres Nocioni. With eight games left, the 11th-place Bulls trail Atlanta by five and have to climb over New Jersey and Indiana to make their fourth straight postseason appearance.

Apr. 1: Pistons 94, Wolves 90

The AP reports: As Chauncey Billups has done so many times before in a Detroit uniform, Rodney Stuckey did much of his damage when his team needed him most, scoring 12 of his career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Pistons to a 94-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night… “I’ve always said he’s one of those guys, the bigger the game, the bigger the situation, the more responsibility he has and he wants,” said Pistons coach Flip Saunders, who gave Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton the night off to rest up for the playoffs. .. Al Jefferson had 26 points and seven rebounds, but only managed 12 shots while being hounded by double- and triple-teams all night. Foye scored 18 points, but was just 6-for-14 from the field, committed a costly turnover in the closing minutes and rushed an off-balance shot out of a timeout with 45 seconds to go to seal the loss.

Apr. 1: Bucks 119, Knicks 115

The AP reports: Bobby Simmons scored a season-high 24 points and Michael Redd added 36 in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 119-115 overtime win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday… Andrew Bogut, who missed the last two games because of a broken nose, chipped in with 24 points and 13 rebounds for Milwaukee… New York’s Quentin Richardson scored 22 points and Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford each added 19. The Knicks lost their fifth straight road game and are 2-15 in their last 17 games.

Apr. 1: Sixers 108, Nets 97

The AP reports: Lou Williams hit three consecutive baskets in the final 3:47, and the surprising 76ers posted their 20th win in 27 games with a 108-99 victory over the fading New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night… Andre Miller had 24 points, 11 assists and five rebounds, while Andre Iguodala added 17 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Samuel Dalembert added 15 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks and finished off a 9-2 spurt that Williams ignited with seven straight points… “We have to think we have an opportunity regardless of how many games we have left to play,” said Vince Carter, who led the Nets with 29 points… Devin Harris added 22 points for New Jersey and Richard Jefferson had 14, but just one in the second half.

Apr. 1: Hornets 98, Magic 97

The AP reports: Peja Stojakovic scored six points in the final minute—a clutch 3-pointer and three free throws—to lift New Orleans past the Orlando Magic 98-97, giving the Hornets their franchise-record 24th road win… Chris Paul had 19 points and 12 assists for the Hornets, Morris Peterson scored 19 points and David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds… Hedo Turkoglu had 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Orlando. Rashard Lewis added 24 points and Dwight Howard had 17 points and 15 rebounds… Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson missed his second straight game with a bruised jaw, and forward Brian Cook was out after breaking a finger Monday in practice.

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