As head coach, Kenny Atkinson had a 118/190 win / loss record. Not bad for a manager who has been given a messy team. When he was released from the Nets in March 2020, Atkinson’s nets were the eighth best in the league in defense.
Is that what the team needs?
The strong suit of Kenny Atkinson is the development of his player. For a young team like this, it’s like water for a thirsty man. D’Angelo Russell is now an All-Star, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert have become stars.
In the Twitter publications of last summer and again this summer, Mitchell Robinson showed his external shooting ability. What has happened this season? Why was Mitch on the sidelines and getting into trouble? Maybe if he was out to spread the floor that wouldn’t be the case, look at Jarrett Allen.
Every young Knicks player has the ability to develop as Atkinson did with the Nets. He took D’Angelo Russell and made him a superstar, and I think the same can be done for Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith jr. and Elfrid Payton.
If he can catch Spencer Dinwiddie and turn him into a player looking for a maximum contract, he should be able to do the same with RJ Barrett, Damyean Dotson, Kadeem Allen and Reggie Bullock.
Atkinson can turn Mitchell Robinson into a center that can shoot three (he’s been working hard on it this summer) and widen the floor. Little forward Kevin Knox and forward Julius Randle, Bobby Portis or Kenny Wooten could be Joe Harris or Rodions Kurucs.