Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Knicks' locker room is a bit shaky, perhaps

When I woke up this morning, I rolled over and grabbed my phone and decided to check Twitter, because... that's just what I like to do in the mornings. Upon scrolling through my feed, it appeared that the Knicks universe was bursting at the seams, ready to explode (or perhaps implode, depending on how you look at it). Stories about Mike D'Antoni on the chopping block; players tuning out their coach; players frustration with Carmelo Anthony; Carmelo Anthony's frustration with everybody.

Already on a six-game losing streak, having been demoted to 9th place in the Eastern Conceference with questions abound about the team's cohesiveness, the drama circling the Knicks' locker room is probably about as ill-timed as one could imagine.

Jump to find out more.

First, there is this report from Chris Broussard, that is about as tabloid-yas they get, but scary nonetheless. According to his "sources", the team is tuning out Mike D'Antoni.

"The players like Mike as a person," one source said. "They think he's a good guy. But he doesn't have the respect of the team anymore."
Evidently, the team is exasperated with Carmelo Anthony's lack of cohesion and willingness to assimilate himself into D'Antoni's and the Knicks' preferred offensive. Citing adjustment troubles and discomfort within his new role, Carmelo is frustrated about not having the ball and playing on the arc instead of in the post or on the elbows in the offense. And his frustration is turning into team frustration and thus, frustration with D'Antoni. FRUSTRATION!

Evidently there are complaints about minutes as well as Baron Davis is upset with his 17 minutes per game pace, but I mean, whatever, Baron.

Of course, the New York Post - the vultures they are - swooped in with a story that Carmelo Anthony has privately said he wants to be traded. Of course all of the above frustrations come into play once again, but apparently he's also upset with his lack of inclusion in management decisions (uhh...?) and that he hasn't been shown enough trust by the dudes upstairs.

Melo denied all of this today, as you would expect him to, whether the rumors are true or not.

"I don't know where that came from. I'm tired of hearing it. It came out this morning from I guess an anonymous source. I'm tired of anonymous sources. I don't want to be traded. I don't know where that foolishness came from, so let's put a cap on that and make this the last time I hear about that."
Anthony also denied there is a rift with Mike D'Antoni, saying he supported the coach "100 percent."
Howard Beck (who is a Knicks beat writer that I strongly respect and tend to believe) seems to believe that the rift in the Knicks is caused by Carmelo Anthony and that the team is essentially 14 players as one... and Carmelo Anthony. Beck also makes note of Anthony's lack of cohesion, body language, and some alarming stats about the Knicks offense and defense when Anthony is on the floor vs. on the bench.

And I don't know what to believe in all of this, but it's scary, and above all, alarming. But I do know that what's being over-looked is that Jared Jeffries is set to return tonight! Wake up, guys!

And of course, the Knicks play the equally trouble Portland Trailblazers tonight, and there's the age-old, sport-sold remedy, winning cures all.

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