Whatever debate there was about Phil Jackson’s ability to institute a culture change in New York is finished. He did it could have foreseen.
J.R. Smith has seen the light.
“Trying to think about the rest of the team over myself or my scoring is something that I never really had to do before,” Smith told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I’ve always been in a situation to score, [now I’m] in position to take my time and let the game come and let my teammates triumph more than myself, I think that is the ultimate win.”
As the year progresses, personal transformations from the preseason have a means of reversing themselves, but for now, it seems Jackson has performed magical.
Obtaining Smith to purchase into the equal-opportunity tenets of this triangle offense is huge, and everything then –figuring out how to coax defense out of a frontcourt rotation between Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire, compelling James Dolan to keep kazoos from this locker room–must be cake.
The Knicks are far removed from a year in 2012-13. Jackson’s influence alone ought to help them get closer to this total than the 37 wins last season was amassed by them.
However, don’t expect a championship chase–maybe not until 2015 is sloughed off in by the contracts on the novels and Carmelo Anthony gets some help.
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