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D’Antoni comes home

December 18th, 2008 · No Comments


As everybody knows by now, the architect of the Phoenix Suns run and gun, shoot in less than seven seconds Blitzkrieg offense, Coach Mike D’Antoni was given the heave-ho after four frustratingly tantalizing seasons in Arizona, having failed to secure an NBA Championship for the Phoenix Suns.

 

Thus D’Antoni packed his bags and departed for the Big Apple, in order to hopefully right a completely waterlogged and sinking steamship known as the New York Knicks, as D’Antoni, along with new General Manager Donnie Walsh, formerly with the Indiana Pacers had been hired to clean up the remnants of Isaiah Thomas’s woeful Knickerbockers’.

 

Last year in an attempt to beef up the Suns, new GM Steve Kerr, brought Shaquille O’Neal to the Valley of the Sun, with Shaq being christened “the Big Cactus,” which obviously changed the philosophy of D’Antoni’s run ‘N gun offense, as it took time for the new recruit to gel with his teammates.

 

Kerr tried to defuse potential media ridicule by making the statement; “If it works, I’m a genius, if it doesn’t I’m a Moron.” To which the lumbering Cactus has wholeheartedly agreed with.

 

Yet, the Suns, along with the 7’1’’, 325lb center, have been having growing pains this season under the direction of their new coach Terry Porter’s system, as several key players have mentioned not enjoying playing for the ex-NBA guard, most notably of the Portland Trailblazers. As even Shaq has commented; “If you’re going to hire an assassin, then let him go out and kill someone, I can’t be Shaq taking only 6 or 7 shots.”

 

And while the Phoenix Suns are still seeking their first NBA title, Shaq has been eloquent as always, stating that he’ll need more then just a little watering if the Big Cactus is to succeed in the Desert, although his two year $40 million salary should help him pay his bills.

 

Although D’Antoni has been most notably surrounded in this seasons Stephon Marbury controversy, the anticipation built, as Mike D’Antoni was set to make his initial return to Arizona, with his Knicks facing off on the Sun’s home court December 15th. Yet, the fans haven’t forgotten the irrepressible Italian, as D’Antoni was given a standing ovation which didn’t die down until the lights were dimmed in order to announce the starting line-ups.

 

And although both teams ran quite a lot, D’Antoni’s Knickerbockers’ just couldn’t ever quite pull ahead, in part due to their lack of converting three pointers, while tying their record for attempts with 37, they only completed 5 for a whopping 13.5% average.

 

Thus, it must have seemed even more ironic as the 4th Quarter turned into a defensive game, with the Big Cactus towering above D’Antoni’s small line-up, as Shaq converted an amazing 11 for 18 free throw attempts, with Knicks starters David Lee and Wilson Chandler fouling out, along with Jared Jeffries lasting only six minutes with a sore leg.

 

Then D’Antoni’s beloved ex-floor general Steve Nash stuck the dagger thru the Knicks with a 3 pointer with 28.2 seconds left, as D’Antoni could only look skywards as Nash dribbled out the clock before the two embraced courtside, as the Phoenix suns defeated the New York Knicks 111-103.

Tags: NBA Basketball

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