Tag: Mike D’Antoni
It’s hard to say exactly what it is that Mike Woodson is doing differently now the he is serving as the interim coach of the New York Knicks. Truth is that, at least from the outside, this team’s strategy looks a lot like the same team that played under Mike D’Antoni’s orders. So, at least for those of us looking from the sideline, the only thing that has really changed is that Woodson has managed to make this team win, and perhaps finally play as a team, with all of its members pushing in the same direction. So, whatever it is the Woodson is doing, whatever trick it is that he is putting out on practice and on the games, he better keep it coming.
Finally, after a long stretch of under par performances, Jeremy Lin is looking again like the player that rocked the NBA’s world a couple of weeks ago, when he came out from nowhere, and gave the Knicks a much brighter future and even a more promising outlook into the Playoffs. With Carmelo Anthony out for a week and a half, Jeremy Lin came to pull something just a bit short of a miracle. And last night, Lin, once again, proved that he’s got what it takes to shine among the professionals. He finished the night with 19 points to lead the Knicks pass the Indiana Pacers 102-88 on Saturday night. The Knicks are now 3-0 under Mike Woodson.
The Knickerbockers offense is currently experiencing some sort of revival. New York defeated the Pacers 115-100 on Friday night in New York. They followed that first game against Indiana with a 42-point victory against Portland in what was Woodson’s first game as the head coach. Jeremy Lin says that the success the squad has been experiencing comes from the small changes that Woodson has been able to make. “I just think it’s we have all 15 guys right now on the same page buying in, and that’s the biggest thing, is that we’re playing together. I don’t think there’s any major changes philosophically from a coaching standpoint.” But the Knicks are winning, and perhaps that’s more important than making any huge change in the team’s overall philosophy.
Woodson, on the other hand, said that what is keeping them winning is that the team has managed to come together and continue a single line. “Our hearts are right in it, and it was a total team effort,” coach Woodson said about his players. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team than I am tonight. I happen to have a great group of guys and a talented bunch. We just have to keep them playing at a high level. If we do that, we have a chance.”
Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony each scored 16 points for New York and J.R. Smith added 11 for the Knicks. For the Pacers Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds as he tried to keep them from losing their second game straight on consecutive matches against the same team. Paul George scored 18 points and Darren Collison added 15 points for Indiana, which made just 4 of 15 shots in the fourth quarter, when they finally dropped the game, and the Linsanity took over.
With the New York Knicks in the verge of not making it into the Playoffs this season, and certainly, far away from been the dominant team that many believed them to be with the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony and the unexpected appearance of Jeremy Lin, Mike D’ Antoni has decided that it is time to step down. At 19-24 for the season, and after dropping 6 straight games it certainly seemed like the Knicks needed yet another big change in order to turn this season around. After the announcement was made, assistant coach Mike Woodson will come in as the interim head coach. He was in charge of leading the New York Knicks into their first week in the last 7 games against the Portland Trail Blazzers at the Madison Square Garden.
Jim Dolan, the Knicks owner, came out to say that after an extensive discussion with D’Antoni, both parts came to a mutual understanding and that it was the coach himself who opted to leave the squad. “He clearly felt it was best for the organization if he were not to continue as coach of the team. He did offer to stay (…) After a long discussion, we did agree it was best for the organization to have new voice moving forward.”
And it seems that at least for now Woodson has been able to turn things around. At least a bit. It’s hard to say what this means on the long run, but the Knicks seem to have finally figured out the offensive system once D’Antoni is already out of the building. Perhaps that explains how the Knickerbockers took a 121-79 win over the Portland Trail Blazers last night, with brilliant performances from Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony for the team’s highest point total of the season. The thing was that the Knickers had dropped to tie in 8th place in the Easter Conference before D’Antoni stepped down. On the one hand, we have to say that the Portland Trail Blazers were something of an easy pray. The Blazers haven’t been able to get their game back. They certainly showed no energy after its 92-75 loss in Indiana on Tuesday, and considering that they were playing without their starting guard Jamal Crawford, it was just a bit easier for the Knicks to rout Portland the way they did.
Perhaps what really pushed D’Antoni’s departure from the team was his relationship with Carmelo Anthony. Many rumors had come out earlier this year about the two not getting along. On the other hand it is no secret that when Melo missed 10 games because of a groin injury, and when the undrafted player from Harvard, Jeremy Lin, was in charge of leading the offensive, the Knicks underwent some sort of revival. But when Carmelo came back, it looked as if the new system, with Lin at the helm, was somehow not compatible with Anthony’s game and the team dropped 8 of the 10 games the two (Lin and Melo) played together.
Earlier this year, the coach that had signed a $24 million 4-year contract, had said that the Knicks were a team that had the potential to win the championship. “If you have a center (Tyson Chandler) from the defending champions on your team that’s 28 years old and is playing the best basketball he’s ever played and you’ve got two superstars in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, obviously you’ve got to compete for a championship…” Well, he was quite off this time around. Let’s wait and see what Woodson can bring to the table.