Whatever debate there has been about Phil Jackson’s capacity to institute a culture change in New York is finished. He did it and could have foreseen.
J.R. Smith has seen the light.
“Trying to consider the rest of the team over my scoring is something which I never actually had to do before,” Smith told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I have been in a situation to score, [now I am ] in position to take my time and let the game come and let my teammates succeed over myself, I believe that is the ultimate win.”
For now, it appears Jackson has performed magic, although Private transformations from the preseason have a means of reversing themselves as the year progresses.
Obtaining Smith to buy in the equal-opportunity tenets of the triangle offense is enormous, and everything then –figuring out how to coax defense out of a frontcourt rotation between Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire, convincing James Dolan to keep kazoos out of the locker room–should be cake.
The Knicks are far removed from a 54-win year in 2012-13. Jackson’s influence should help them get closer to that total compared to 37 wins they accumulated last year.
Don’t expect a championship chase–Carmelo Anthony gets some help and maybe not until 2015 is sloughed off in by the contracts on the novels.
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