Initially, it was the optimism of simply having a competent coach. A few blowouts sprinkled with some wins, competitive games, topped off with the firing of Mills has fans conflicted.
Whether or not they have a say in Mike Miller’s stay, the new Front Office should reconsider their coaching search.
While unusual when there’s a change to an NBA front office, Mike Miller has a compelling case for Head Coach in New York. He isn’t perfect by any means but he might be just as the Knicks need. Since the firing of media darling David, the Knicks have the 7th best record in the East and are currently on a 4-game win streak (the play today (2/9) at 6 P.M. against the revamped Hawks). Nothing out of order for an average NBA team, but the Knicks were 359-674 with Mills in the front office.
They were more recently 21-83 under Fizdale so it’s fair to say they weren’t playing to an average NBA level over their tenure. Wins and losses aren’t created equally but outliers make one-sided arguments. Moving forward with a new front office it would be easier if they had one less thing to consider.
For example: the offense may improve despite trading their most efficient offensive crutch because there’s one less decision to think about.
Harkless is going to need the ball less so even just keeping all other things constant, there’s going to be more shots available for everyone else. If Leon Rose is what the people overall basketball media space claim, he’s capable in his own right. Rather than exhausting time and effort in multiple different roles, he can focus on things off the court with Miller directing the team.
Winning speaks for itself but there have been key differences regardless of winning or losing.
First is that the team is running plays and if that seems odd to “praise” it’s less praise and more that Fizdale didn’t run any.
On top of that, the Knicks are playing much better defense overall and the product (wins) speaks for itself.
Concerns with the rotation and whether the line-ups were a product of what the old front office will be seen in the remainder of the season. In an ideal world winning could happen alongside youth development, but the Knicks are so starved for a base level of competition that it’s hard to argue too much against their production under Miller. The team is buying what the Coach is cooking and that is by no means a guarantee.
Maybe he’s not the front offices’ first option; however, he can allow the new basketball management to focus on evaluating the draft and free agency in the years to come. If some baseline of trust for Mike Miller’s ability to evaluate, mentor, and develop the team, the ever cliche “culture” can grow from what seems to be building now.
Will the Knicks good fortune continue?