In recent days and weeks there has been some growing criticism of Woody. I get it - here is Stat glued to the bench and we're starting James White? Or the retina-scorching lazy switching...In particular people have complained of his stubbornness. However there have been several things over his time in charge that have been very frustrating and Woodson has adjusted to over time, and I want to run through a few of them...
Firstly we all worried how Stat was going to fit in after a season and a half where Stat n Melo (n Tyson) didn't work so well. It looks now like sending Stat to Hakeem was a genius move. Remember, that was Woodson's suggestion.
So you know all that high PNR/ open 3 point shooting that burned teams out of the gate? Pure D'Antoni ball. So what happened to Woodson being ISO-Joe? Because that is what a lot of people were saying prior to the season. Woody took the best of D'Antoni and actually made it more flexible and fit it better to the personnel he has.
Next problem - terrible rebounding at the beginning of the season. Now we're right up there in DRB%.
How about the chuckfest from Raymond Felton before he got hurt? He seems to be shooting a lot less in recent weeks.
The defense went to shit over January. Not saying it's quite at early season levels, but it is significantly improved over recent weeks. More often than not we've lost games recently because we're not running our offense as well. Also I've never seen Stat this engaged defensively.
Stat-Novak yucky, yucky frontcourt was a pretty gross occurance for several weeks. He's adjusted the rotation so that is rarely seen and Stat spends some time with Tyson.
Jason Kidd's shot went to shit for a month. Woody brings him off the bench and within a few games it's suddenly looking a lot better.
I'm sure there are other examples people could point to as well. My point is not that Woody is the perfect coach, and that there aren't issues with the team. But he does adjust things, and has been pretty successful in doing so to my eye.
As a result, I don't expect James White to be starting in the playoffs, and I don't expect Stat to be playing 20 minutes when it comes to April/ May. Already he has admitted his mistake re Stat and Miami finishing 5. The switching may continue sadly, but people will be a lot sharper and we are seeing more aggressive trapping involving Tyson.
After 4 years of Pringles (who I admittedly did love) rigidly sticking to his system depsite personnel and eventually losing the team, whilst Woodson isn't perfect he is a breath of fresh air in comparison. Remember how teams would go on runs and Pringles would "let them play it out" until they were down 20 before he called a timeout? Did Pringles ever run a successful play out of a timeout? Yeah, Woodson doesn't look quite as bad now...