Warriors 92, Knicks Woodson’d
As you might expect, we’re not going to do grades. There’s really no need. Everyone ranged from “Putrid” to ‘Dear God! The children! Won’t somebody please think of the children!” J.R. got himself tossed rather than continue (Ok, it probably wasn’t a fragrant 2 and Joey Crawford is a pathetic joke of a ref, but still.). Chandler let Andrew freakin’ Bogut beat him off the dribble. Felt was throwing up dumb 20 footers and dribbling into silly turnovers. Novak looked like he was trying to toss a string of bratwursts through the hoop. They went under every screen when facing Steph Curry, who might have dropped 54 on this team nary a week ago, I forget. There were a couple of half-decent spurts from Cope and Prigs but for some reason, Captain Simple-minded, the ‘Bockers’ so-called fearless leader, kept them glued to the pine until this game was well out of hand. But you know, it happens – the team plays terribly/ignores whatever passes for a scouting report. That’s annoying, but understandable. Bad games are one thing, but this is another animal altogether.
This is about Mike Woodson and what was, as far as I can recall, one of the stupidest in-game decisions a New York Knick coach has ever made.
Here it is: BY ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD, WHAT THE HECK WAS WOODSON THINKING (or rather, not thinking) BY KEEPING A FLUID-KNEED MELO IN THE GAME WHEN THEY WERE DOWN 27? AND THEN, TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, BROUGHT HIM BACK IN WITH NINE MINUTES TO GO????????????
It’s not just that it’s a blowout and the team is heading on a long road trip and sunk cost and whatnot. It’s that anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex could see that he had absolutely zero lift; that he was running (or more accurately, hobbling) around like I do when I play pickup hoops, wheezing and sputtering to such a degree that you’d think he was a non-athlete/chain-smoker (like yours truly).
If you enjoy keeping a Twitter feed scrolling during a game, you’d have seen that the reaction was uniform and swift, from Knick fan and basketball cognoscenti alike. Melo’s hurt. He’s not “rusty” or “off”, he’s hurt and you, Coach Woodson have to take him out and keep him duct-taped to the bench before you absolutely wreck this franchise. It’s not just this season, but you’re daring the fates to smack us across the broadsides for the next two years of Melo’s contract by pushing him to keep playing on a balky joint. I don’t care if he (Melo) says he’s okay and that he wants to play. That’s why you exist, coach, to protect players (at times) from their own worst instincts/desires. The juice just ain’t worth the squeeze. Heck, Melo shouldn’t be going anywhere near the court in a 23-point game even if he wasn’t coming back from an injury. It’s a dumb, reckless, shortsighted, dunderheaded, pointless, ignorant, insane risk.
And it’s not like you didn’t just lose a key player possibly because you exceeded the minute limit that was imposed upon his playing time. Sure, roll the dice. Why not? No way it could happen again, AMIRITE? YOLO!
If Melo is out the next couple of games (or worse) you can point directly to this moment. It’s so dumb Isiah Thomas would know better. A cardboard cutout of Larry Brown circa 2005 would know better.
It’s a fireable offense. That’s how bad it is.
I’m flabbergasted. I’m gobsmacked. I’m ready to scream and throw things and break furniture. This is what I looked like typing this:
I recant every nice thing I ever said about Woodson. He’s got a tiny liquid-filled nubbin at the top of his spine where his brain should be. He cries at card tricks, that’s how dumb he is. #FireWoodson.
I just want to grab Woodson by the goatee and force him to watch this over and over and over and over and over again…
This effing team, mang…
UPDATE: In the post-game presser, when asked why he put Melo back in with nine minutes to go, Woodson mumbled some pabulum about “I thought we could make a run.” I’m going to go drink a liter of Drano. On to Denver!
Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.