Whatever debate there was about Phil Jackson’s ability to institute a culture shift in New York is over. He did it and could have foreseen.
J.R. Smith has seen the light.
“Trying to consider the rest of the group over my scoring is something which I never actually had to do before,” Smith told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I have always been in a position to dent, [now I’m] able to take my time and allow the game come and let my teammates succeed more than myself, I believe that’s the ultimate triumph.”
Private transformations from the preseason have a way of reversing themselves as the year progresses, but for the time being, it appears Jackson has performed magic.
Getting Smith to purchase into the equal-opportunity tenets of this triangle offense is huge, and everything then –figuring out how to coax defense from a frontcourt rotation involving Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire, convincing James Dolan to keep kazoos from this locker room–should be cake.
The Knicks are not so far removed from a 54-win year in 2012-13. Jackson’s influence alone should help them get closer to this total than the 37 wins they amassed season.
Don’t expect a championship chase–Carmelo Anthony gets some actual help and not before 2015 is sloughed off in by the undesirable contracts on the books.
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