D'Antoni era ends amid lineup concerns

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Mike D’Antoni’s offense couldn’t incorporate Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony in the Knicks lineup.Mike D'Antoni resigned as coach of the New York Knicks on Wednesday. His agent Warren LeGarie says the parting was "a mutual decision" because D'Antoni and the team have "conflicting views of the Knicks' future."

What’s certain is that the recent past hasn’t been pretty for all parties involved.

After starting last season 28-26, the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony raised expectations in the Big Apple as the Knicks were supposed to join the Eastern Conference elite. Instead, New York went the opposite direction losing 38 of 70 games since. The Knicks scoring has gone down by almost six points per game since that fateful trade.


Knicks and Carmelo Anthony
Last 2 Seasons

The major crisis that ended the coach’s tenure is not a secret. New York has just been better with its superstar on the bench, especially this season with new point guard Jeremy Lin on the floor.

Since his return from injury 10 games ago, the Knicks are scoring 12 more points per 100 possessions and allowing 12 fewer points with Anthony on the bench.

But Lin or no Lin, Anthony simply wasn’t thriving in Mike D'Antoni's system.

Worst Plus/Minus for 2-Man Combos
Last 10 Knicks Games

Anthony is in the midst of one of his worst offensive seasons of his nine-year career. He’s shooting a career-worst 40 percent from the field. His 21.3 scoring average is his lowest since his sophomore season with the Nuggets.

Over the last 10 games, no two-man combo for the Knicks has put up a worse plus/minus rating than their two stars: Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Anthony has put up a minus rating with every Knick he's played with over that time.

The best combo for the Knicks over last 10 games? Jared Jeffries and Steve Novak (+28).

The best combo for the Knicks this season? Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak (+122).

New interim head coach Mike Woodson will now have to figure that riddle out.


The entire drama in New York highlights a stark comparison for D'Antoni’s career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, D'Antoni’s career win percentage is .733 in games he's coached when Steve Nash played for him. In games without him, he’s recorded just a .385 win percentage.


The Knicks, who won seven straight games in February, have now dropped six in a row entering tonight's contest with Portland. With a defeat tonight, they would become the first NBA team since 2004 to have both a winning streak and a losing streak of at least seven games within a 20-game span (fact courtesy of Elias).