There are a few reasons why Mike Woodson deserves to be fired.
One is how he coaches offense–i.e. "Give Melo the ball and hope he scores." The game the Knicks won in double OT in Milwaukee was the epitome of Woody’s isolationism. Despite Melo clearly being gassed (I think he leads the league in minutes played), at the end of regulation and both OTs the only play the Knicks ran was giving the ball to Anthony and seeing if he could muster enough energy to make shots. Thankfully he made enough that night to win. But the Knicks are, offensively, offensive.
A second reason to fire Woodson is defense–i.e. "Switch switch switch." This is the system he used when he coached the Hawks like 5 years ago. Note to Woody: the 2009 Atlanta Hawks were far younger and more athletic than the 2014 Knicks. What worked then don’t work now. As the entire league has come around and Thibodeau-ized their defense, the Knicks continue to think they can confuse their opponents by constantly switching. Imagine if Batman decided to forsake his utility belt and all the wonders available in the Batcave and just stuck to smoke bombs. Ya figure eventually the bad guys would catch on? Watching the Knicks this year is like watching Batman die. Night after night after eighty-fucking-two nights.
A third reason to fire Woodson emerged today. While meeting reporters today and discussing JR Smith’s bonehead 3-pointer with 20 seconds left against Houston (JR’s latest performance art aimed at giving burnouts a bad name), Woodson, unprovoked, suggested that the bigger issue was Beno Udrih passing the ball to Smith in the first place.
Woodson picks on Iman Shumpert, constantly. He’ll pick on Tim Hardaway Jr. He picks on Udrih, to the extent that a long-running professional point guard who was good enough to play for the Spurs (and pique their interest this offseason) told the press recently he’s tired of being Woodson’s whipping boy.
Woodson doesn’t pick on Carmelo. Or JR Smith. Or Chris Smith. He doesn’t touch the CAA guys.
Let’s look (if you can bare to) at the possession in question.
Points of note:
1–Udrih passing to JR at the top of the 3-point line was something you’ll see happen 99 out of 100 times in this circumstance. You pass the ball up top and let your designated one-on-one threat operate with the whole floor spread out in front of him. What would Woodson have had Udrih do? Stay on the strong side? Dribble the ball all the way across the floor to hand off to Melo? Udrih threw it to Smith. Smith should have held it or passed it to Melo. Because, as you can see……
2–MELO WAS WIDE OPEN ON THE WEAK SIDE. All Smith had to do was swing the ball 10 feet to his left and Melo would dribble to top of the 3-point line and then go into his move.
This sort of action by Woodson is typical of what turns me off about him. I never supported hiring him in the first place, at least not without any competition. I didn’t understand why the Knicks didn’t reach out to any other candidates who had more of a resume–Jerry Sloan, for example. I’m not saying Sloan was 100% the answer. I just didn’t understand how a guy off of 24 games and getting crushed in the 1st round was worth keeping WITHOUT GIVING ANYONE ELSE A FREAKING INTERVIEW.
Now the Knicks have reaped what they’ve sown. They hired a guy with no history of answers, and now that they’re drowning in questions, no one knows what to do. The lack of IQ/imagination on the floor reflects a head coach who’s made his bones counting on individual brilliance to achieve mediocrity.
Now he’s calling out his point guard for passing the ball.
I know whoever Dolan brings in next will be a puppet, too. I know CAA runs the Knicks, despite delivering nothing to the team beyond hype and promises that never come true.
CAA is the dragon Dolan’s always chasing, the one he’ll never catch.
Woodson is the needle and the damage done. He has no answers.
Udrih is the point guard who passed and gets crap for it.
JR Smith is the shooting guard who can’t shoot or guard or, in his coach’s eyes, do anything wrong.
Someone turn on the Bat-signal…