At the outset of the Knicks' 19-point loss to the Celtics yesterday, Boston got rolling by putting up 40 points in the first quarter. The champs finished the day with 124, so if you didn't know any better, you'd think that New York's head coach might spend at least some of his postgame remarks addressing the team's defensive deficiencies. Since their coach is Mike D'Antoni however, you should know better.
Marc Berman of The NY Post apparently did not know better though, based on his surprise that D'Antoni was focused on the team's offense, even after the horrific defensive game that his team had just played.
You could read my game story for the details, but one thing flabbergasted me in the post-game press conference.
The Knicks had just surrendered 124 points, allowed Boston to shoot 65 percent, permitted 40 points in the first quarter, couldn't contain Rajon Rondo from going to the rack for layups. And all Mike D'Antoni was talking about after the game was the Knicks weren't good enough offensively. Very telling. As if the coach admits he can have no effect on making them sounder defensively, only offensively.
Flabbergasted? Come on, now. I hate to state the obvious here, but D'Antoni has never been about defense, not even in the slightest. His unwillingness to even begin to care about what happens on that end of the floor was the basis for his departure from the Suns. Based on what we saw when he was running the show in Phoenix the last four seasons -- and as crazy as it might sound after a game like the one against Boston -- this isn't something that should come as even a little bit of a surprise.