Well, it’s finally here: Super Bowl weekend. For almost everyone in New York, it’s exciting. For Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, it’s frightening.
The Knicks are in a horrendous 2-10 slide and will be feeling the pressure when they head to Boston to play the Celtics in Friday’s best NBA game.
This is a make-or-break weekend for the head coach. The Daily, a gossip Web site, has reported that D’Antoni will be fired if the Knicks lose the first two games of their back-to-back-to-back, using the frenzied Super Bowl coverage to mask the news.
Whether that’s accurate or not, if the Knicks continue to lose, D’Antoni will be gone.
On Thursday, the Knicks (8-14) couldn’t handle Chicago’s Derrick Rose, who painfully reminded them what a point guard-guided offense accomplishes, scoring 32 points and handing out 13 assists in a 105-102 win for the Bulls.
It doesn’t get easier in Boston, where New York has lost 12 straight at the TD Garden, including the playoffs.
Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, named an All-Star starter along with Rose, has not been able to lead his team to victories.
Despite being fifth in the league in scoring (23.8 ppg), Anthony has had difficulties co-existing with teammates Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.
In fact, the Knicks’ stars have had so much trouble meshing that Stoudemire’s 34 points Thursday was the forward’s first 30-point game of the season.
It seems like the distant past when New York unwrapped the NBA campaign on Christmas with a 106-104 win over Boston. And it was – these are different teams.
Boston (11-10) will have Knicks-killer Paul Pierce back in Friday’s rematch, and has climbed over .500 after going 7-3 in its last 10.
And Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who has missed the last eight games with an injured wrist, is likely to return Friday.