How many more days does Mike D’Antoni have left? It’s a valid question to ask, what with the Knicks mired in one of their worst slumps in recent memory. On Tuesday night the Knicks visit the 3-14 Charlotte Bobcats. It’s one of these games the Knicks just have to find a way to win. Another loss to a bad team (last week the Knicks fell to the Suns and Bucks) and the already-scorching seat that D’Antoni sits on is going to intensify even more.
You can’t place all the blame on D’Antoni for the Knicks’ struggles this season. The Knicks do have two of the games best scorers in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and neither one of them has played to their potential whatsoever this season. Both are shooting way below their career averages from the field (Anthony 40% against 46%, Stoudemire 41% against 53%). It’s surely on the coaching staff to find a way to get these guys playing better and more in sync together, but it’s also on them, as professionals and star players with proven track records, to step up and simply start making shots.
It’s the third meeting between the two teams this season, with exactly 33% of the Bobcats’ wins coming against New York this season. They played each other at Madison Square Garden twice within a six day span. Charlotte took the first meeting by putting up 118 points, while the Knicks squeaked by 91-87 in the rematch. In both games, the Knicks allowed Boris Diaw to play like Jerry West, letting him grab his two highest point outputs of the season (27 and 19, respectively).
Since beating the Knicks back on Jan. 4, the Bobcats have won just once while cracking the 90-point mark just three times in 11 games. There’s no question that they’re one of the league’s bottom feeders right now. Can D’Antoni survive another loss to a lowly opponent?
On Monday, Baron Davis practiced with the Knicks for the first time. The mantra surrounding the Knicks is that he can’t return to the court soon enough. He’s the savior. Unfortunately for D’Antoni, if the year is 2012 and you’re counting on Baron Davis to save your job, you might want to start sending a few resumes out sooner than later.