Baron Davis sees the Knicks, his former team, in a long rut with “no real plan.” But there was a brief moment of light, spanning Davis’ brief time with the Knicks, when Carmelo Anthony was at his peak in New York and Mike Woodson was coaching them to consecutive playoff berths.
“I always feel for Melo. That’s my teammate, my brother,” Davis, a former All-NBA selection who played just 29 games with the Knicks due to injuries, told the Daily News. “Melo is a dude who wants to be in New York. It’s different. I think that when we were, the two years I was there, I thought we had the people and chemistry around him, and personalities to let Melo be Melo. When you allow Melo to be himself, then he becomes one of the most dangerous weapons in the league. And everyone else around the team takes the responsibility of making sure that weapon is utilized. And I think the last couple years we went to the playoffs, we started to develop that. Once we got over the ‘Linsanity,’ it was like, we still know who the weapon is. Like, and the team was there. We were closer than we’ve ever been to really building something. And then it kind of all went downhill.”
Heading downhill started just before Phil Jackson took over in the front office, and only got worse once he settled into the job. His presidency has coincided with Anthony signing a long-term contract, and Anthony going on the trading block two seasons later.
The triangle has been the backdrop to the last three seasons, and Davis indicated the system — in its ’90s Bulls form — is outdated. But he does see the benefits in teaching its principles of spacing and ball movement. Davis believes there’s a miscommunication between the Knicks and Jackson. Or, as Davis described it, “a language barrier between young and old, old and new.”
“They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you definitely don’t want to teach a new dog some old ass tricks when everybody’s learning all the new stuff,” Davis said. “So it’s just a matter of, how do you get the dog to learn the new tricks but giving them the old principles to understand it?”
Davis had on his analyst hat as to preview Monday’s game between the Knicks and Clippers, which is broadcast on TNT and will include Davis’ debut in studio. Former Knicks coach Derek Fisher is doing color commentary for the game, which will start New York’s four-game road trip against the Western Conference. Another former Knicks coach, Isiah Thomas, is joining Davis as an analyst.
As another sign that they’ve given up on this season, the Knicks claimed they didn’t practice Friday and won’t go Saturday, either. Two straight days off is a rarity in the NBA. Of course, the Knicks said they didn’t practice earlier this month but that was the same day Jackson conducted his triangle seminar.
“I think they go wrong with having unrealistic goals and expectations,” Davis said. “A lot of times you can fall into the trap of expecting too much before things actually happen. Sometimes the Knicks just need to be the Knicks. And not the New York Knicks. When I mean by that is that they’re New York’s team and everybody is going to be focused on that. But they should learn to pace themselves, set goals and be patient with what they’re doing.”
Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:33:57 +0000