So far new head coach of the New York Knicks, Mike D'Antoni, has been making huge strides. Although the Knicks are currently 11-17, they have shown that they are improving in a lot of areas of their game. The attitude of the team has changed drastically and it's nice to not see terrible coaches like Isiah Thomas or Don Chaney. This is the first legit coach that they have had since Jeff Van Gundy ( Sorry Larry Brown, but you weren't fit for NY). So how is D'Antoni doing it? Lets take a closer look at the roster to find out.
They have brought in new players like Al Harrington, Tim Thomas, and Chris Duhon to run the "7 seconds or less" offense. Harrington is averaging 22 ppg since coming over from Golden State in a trade. Tim Thomas returned to the Garden in another trade and has played well off the bench. Chris Duhon, who was recommended by Coach K while him and D'Antoni coached the USA Olympic team together, has been playing almost 40 minutes per game and averages over 8 assists per game. But the player who has taken his game to a whole different level is Center David Lee. Lee is averaging a double-double (14 ppg, 10 rpg) and is benefiting from this new offense. He is undersized at 6'9 but works hard and gets the job done night in and night out. The team is scoring over 100 ppg and are an exciting team to watch.
Also factoring in the rebuilding process is the benching of Stephon Marbury. Marbury is such a distraction to the team and seems to be only concerned about himself. I give D'Antoni a lot of credit for not playing his highest paid player because he wants things done his way.
The Knicks have a lot to look forward to as they will be ready to land some huge free agents in the summer of 2010 (hopefully LeBron). Keep an eye on the Knicks because although their record might not show it, they have made tremendous improvements and are going to continue to get better.