To take the sting off of it a little bit, consider the report coming out about a possible starting five of Felton-Gallinari-Randolph-Stoudemire-Turiaf. That’s a lot of size right there. Even with the waif-like wings, you’re still looking at considerable height to provide a rebounding asset, if not advantage. But if we move past defense and accept that this team is only marginally likely to make the playoffs and if they do, they are likely fodder, we have to see how bloody fun this team is apt to be. Forget the whole Warriors-Raptors concepts of the last few years, those teams were built on a system which then went out and got whatever players were affordably priced for what they were attempting (or in the Raptors case, reasonably priced with a few plastic explosive exceptions). And forget even the Suns, who were dependent on one player’s brilliance, and the other players’ ability to siphon off that player (yes, one of them is the same player who is now the lynch pin in our Madison Square Petrie Dish). This is just tall, athletic guys who can throw the round thing in the circular thing repeatedly.
Gallo is hardly a “waif” and it sounds like Randolph has gained 20-something pounds. And with Felton and Toney Douglas on the ball, that’s a great start defensively. So they have to be better on defense. Again, the team has to be in the top half in total defense. Yes, I can see a situation where the team struggles mightily. defensively. If that’s the case and it’s obvious that the team can’t play at anywhere near a championship level in this system, the coach should be shown the door. He’s been given the talent to win many more games this year.
No more excuses. But I’m not about to assume guilt by association. The team is improved, and it’s up to the coach to manage the roster and prove that his system can overachieve like it did for stretches during December and January.