A gaggle of us Mothership soldiers teamed up for a look at some recent NBA storylines:
1. Fact or Fiction: The Knicks are a new team under Mike Woodson.
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Fact. Carmelo Anthony saying he’s more into it tells you all you need to know. Sometimes who is coaching means more than what he’s doing. The Knicks needed someone fresh. Woodson fits that.
Phillip Barnett, Forum Blue & Gold: Fact-ish. Mike Woodson’s offensive philosophy isn’t exactly on the “seven seconds or less” family tree; Woodson’s playoff teams in Atlanta finished 18th, 24th and 27th in pace before he was let go. However, New York has problems that cannot be fixed in 20 games.
Jim Cavan, KnickerBlogger: Fact. Same team, same quirky personalities, yes, but now with a skipper who intends to use them differently. The biggest difference has been Woodson’s ability to get the most out of his guys where it matters most: on defense and on the glass. The Knicks have out-bounded their last four foes. Of course, playing four in a row against sub-elite teams certainly helps.
Ian Levy, The Two-Man Game: Fiction. All the problems the Knicks had two weeks ago are still there, although Woodson has seemed able to push some different buttons on the energy/effort/intensity apparatus. If nothing else, the players seem to perceive themselves as a new team, which will go a long way toward making them competitive over the rest of the season.
Tom Sunnergren, Philadunkia: Fiction. I’m reading “new team” here to mean “good one,” and as impressive as their last four games have been — and yeah, a 90-point margin is really impressive — the Knicks are still just a collection of plus role players who are weighed down by the (large) salaries and (larger) egos of two superstars in name only. In New York, albatross is spelled S-T-O-U-D-E-M-I-R-E.