Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Isiah Thomas is no longer affiliated with the Knicks, but that hasn’t stopped him from voicing his opinion on every big move.
The former Knicks coach and president says he doesn’t think getting rid of veteran point guard Chauncey Billups in favor of 7-foot-1 center Tyson Chandler was a wise move.
“The guard play right now in the NBA is off the charts,’’ Thomas told “The Sid Rosenberg Show” on Miami radio, according to the New York Post.
“Losing Chauncey, I thought he brought a veteran leadership to the team. His savviness and guard play has always been severely undervalued. Detroit found that out when they let Chauncey go. I think there was a certain amount of leadership to what he brought to [the Knicks] last year.’’
Thomas added: “If you don’t have great guards, it’s hard to put together a game plan. You’re only as good a coach as your guards.’’
It’s hard to disagree with Thomas right now.
First off, Billups is averaging 15 points, three assists and two rebounds for the 3-2 Los Angeles Clippers. Chandler is averaging 11 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for the defensively-challenged Knicks.
And second, as suggested in this space Wednesday night following the Knicks’ 118-110 loss to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, the team’s guard play is so poor, head coach Mike D’Antoni needs to consider putting energetic rookie Iman Shumpert into the starting lineup in place of shooting guard Landry Fields.
Shumpert was +1 for 18 points against the ‘Cats, while Fields was -21 for 5.
On Thursday, D’Antoni said he was considering making the change.
“I think you do consider it,” he said. “We’ll see if we do it or not. Especially when you’re 2-4, you consider a lot of things. Everything’s on the table.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.