Don’t Call Him A Defensive Coach (Because He’s Not)
The Knicks hired Mike Woodson as an assistant coach, providing an ending to all those rumors stating D’Antoni needed a defensive guru. Matt Moore of CBSSports stated Woodson “joins the Knicks as a defensive assistant to help shore up the Knicks’ porous D” and Alan Raskin boldly stated “The New York Knicks finally have a defense.” However, is Woodson the defensive minded coach that he appears to be?
Looking at points allowed per game, in Woodson’s 6 season in Atlanta, the Hawks ranked 15th or better 4 times. Unfortunately that was partially due to his grind it out style. In that same time span, the team has been above league average in pace only once (his first year). In reality, the Hawks have been a better than average defensive team only 2 times in 6 years, and only once has his defense been ranked higher than his offense.
|Year||Off. PPG||Def. PPG||Pace||Off. Eff.||Def. Eff.|
Even though Woodson isn’t the defensive ying to D’Antoni’s yang, it doesn’t mean he can’t help the team. His team won more games each year he was there & dropped 9 wins after he left. Woodson’s ran a iso-heavy offense, something that may better fit the talents of the Knicks new star player, Carmelo Anthony. And Atlanta had the league’s second best offense in Woodson’s last year.
On the other hand, this move isn’t all positive. Woodson seemed to wear out his welcome in Atlanta, and he made his fair share of gaffs. Additionally hiring Woodson has just fueled the New York media’s paranoia. Could Woodson’s arrival combined with the departure of Walsh mean the end of the D’Antoni era? No doubt the rumors will dog the team for the entire 2012 season, whenever that might begin.