Whatever debate there has been about Phil Jackson’s ability to institute a culture shift is finished. He did it to a larger degree than anybody could have possibly foreseen.
J.R. Smith has seen the light.
“Trying to think about 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’ve always been in a situation to score, [now I am ] in position to take my time and allow the game come and let my teammates succeed more than myself, I believe that is the ultimate win.”
For the time being, it appears Jackson has performed magical, although personal transformations in the preseason have a means of reversing themselves as the year progresses.
Obtaining Smith to buy into the equal-opportunity tenets of the triangle offense is enormous, 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 the locker room–must be cake.
The Knicks are far removed from a season in 2012-13. Jackson’s influence should help them get closer to this total than the 37 wins they accumulated last year.
Still, don’t expect a championship chase–Carmelo Anthony understands some real help and not until 2015 is sloughed off in by the contracts on the novels.
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