Find more draft picks in this years draft. Many in the sports media have mistakenly called this upcoming NBA draft weak. For true franchise talent, yes. For solid rotation players who help win championships, this is one of the strongest drafts in years. Remember the Thoreau axiom " Its not what you look at, but what you see." That will mean getting very granular and creative( oops I used the the "C " word). That means parlaying some "overvalued" assets and restricted free agents- Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland along with bad contracts of Marcus Camby plus Steve Novak for draft pics that will turn into depth and needed young rotation players. In addition, scour the D-league, Europe and the rest of the globe for "undervalued assets." Player development and insightful scouting is something sorely lacking here.
Love Coach Mike Woodson. His has imbued this team with toughness, a defense-first orientation, and accountability. The bad? His offensive schemes are as imaginative as reality tv dialogue. How bad? Kim Khardasian calls him pedestrian. The Knicks seem to have three plays, high screen-rolls with Felton and Chandler, drive-and-dish for the three-ball,and a heavy dose of iso-one-on-one ball. They were dead last in percent of field goals assisted at 52.7% and 28th in assist ratio. Too often the Knicks play a lopsided floor with little or no ball movement. The major culprits are JR and Melo. The orgy of perimeter heavy three ball seduced many to thinking the Knicks were real? Well the axiom, " live by the three, die by the three" played out in the post-season meltdown in Indiana and nearly in Boston. Can you the outcry if the Knocks lost to a an aging,injury-depleted Celtic team. The collapse was nearly historic. Woodson's very predictable offense is not built for post season success. Iso-Joe in Atlanta, was made possible by "Iso-Coach Woody." Perhaps there is a reason Woodson's teams have never made it past the second round. His coaching is very limited and one has to begin to ask, is Woodson a guy to get you to the next level? As he is currently constituted, no!
Woodson must do a "reverse D'Antoni." D'Antoni is all offense no defense. Woodson has to increase his offensive diversity without sacrificing the defensive focus offense. Woodson must hire a young offensive coach well and start to incorporate flex motion sets. There has to be much more weak side ball reversal, 3-4 picks and rolls with Melo and JR, more 4-5 pick and rolls with Stat and Melo. How about weak side plays that feature flex cuts, flare screens, ball screens, dive cuts, quick back doors cuts? There has to be better player and ball movement. How about getting Melo the ball on the move instead of only catching and going from the elbow? Getting offensive help is not a request for Woodson. This should be a Grunwald directive. Woodson can pontificate all he wants about ball and player movement, but he is the one drawing and calling plays right?
IMPROVEMENT FROM WITHIN
Lastly, you need a ball-mover with a perimeter game, who can play back up quarterback. That sounds like Nate Wolters. His high hoops IQ and ability to play dual lead guard with Felton will yield immediate results. yes the aforementioned strategy takes vision and big-picture thinking( items the Knicks seldom have) but hopefully Grunwald is reading this.He can take all the credit. This infusion of youth, athleticism , and speed will change the landscape at the Garden
FREE AGENTSIts is simple-get Chase Budinger. He is young, athletic, with an handle who can shot, pass and defend. He is coming off an injury and is considered an undervalued asset. He becomes your starting 3 next to Melo and gives you the proper spacing. It also frees up Shump to go back to his natural at the 2
We have said vision is what you do not see, and the above strategy seems to be beyond the realm of the cognitive defects the Knicks have in their hierarchical DNA. If this doesn't work, become an Indiana fan. They have "Born Ready" and Donnie Walsh, so the New York swag is there. If not pray really , really hard.