May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson on the sidelines against the Miami Heat during the first half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Hey, here's a rumor to start off your day. From Frank Isola of the Daily News:
Mike Woodson is moving closer to having the interim tag removed from his job title.
The Knicks have initiated talks that would keep Woodson as the team’s head coach for the foreseeable future, the Daily News has learned. The talks are only in the preliminary stages but it is clear that Madison Square Garden management is convinced Woodson is the right man for the job and will not pursue either Phil Jackson or Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Hey now! That's bound to make some of us very happy and some of us quite upset. I like Woodson, am creeped out by Jackson, and want no part of Calipari, but I'm still somewhere in between. On one hand, Woodson really got the best out of his new charges toward the end of the season. Everybody played defense like they cared, Carmelo Anthony looked as engaged as ever, and New York pushed into the playoffs with feats of perseverance (winning despite injuries to Jeremy Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire and Jared Jeffries and others) and resilience (never losing consecutive regular season games). It was a gritty run to the postseason when the Knicks had plenty of excuses to collapse.
That said, I share some of your concerns with Woodson's tactical acumen (tactumen). He's not nearly as stubborn as Mike D'Antoni was, but there have been legitimate questions about his willingness to let the offense stagnate for minutes at a time, his slowness to adapt and counter his opponent (see the routine fronting of Melo that ruined the Knicks in Game One of this series), his inability to exploit his resources (Steve Novak, at times), and his whimsical preferences for certain players (J.R. Smith) at their worst over others (Landry Fields) at their best. None of that stuff irritates me as much as it irritates some of you, but it's definitely been puzzling at times.
Overall, I'm not unhappy with the move, should it actually go down. I like Woodson and admire the relationship he's developed with his principal players, and I wonder if he might iron out some of the tactical lagging with a full roster and a chance to run said full roster through a full training camp. Most of all, I am an advocate of consistency and patience, and those would seem to be characteristics of this move (that or it's just meant to appease the Dark Sorcerer Isiah Thomas MUAAHAHAHAHAHAH).
We'll see. This is still just a rumor.
Two more thoughts: 1. This isn't because Woodson won a single playoff game. Read the report. Not even Isola insinuates that. 2. It's worth remembering that no matter who becomes coach, some of us will despise him (or her!) and all of us will identify certain idiosyncrasies that bother us.
Final update/Final thought: