Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wiz 102, Knicks 101: The Coach

I’m typing this sentence because it’s been 40 minutes since Mike Woodson burned his last bridge with Knicks fans and I don’t feel like staring at a blank page any longer.  And I’m typing this sentence because life is about moving on and making the best of it even when things aren’t going your way which, incidentally, is exactly the reason that Woodson shouldn’t be the Knicks’ coach by the time I wake up tomorrow morning.

It’s not personal with Coach Woodson, even if it starts to feel that way on nights like tonight.  Nights when we wince at the carelessness of a missed two-for-one and then begin to lose the sensation in our extremities at the first glimpse of Beno on Beal and then feel the numbness radiate through our arms and legs to our cores as a completely baffled Carmelo Anthony waits for a play or a pause or a clue that never comes and finally lofts the fruits of his vacant disbelief harmlessly off the high glass, peering at his coach with equal parts curiosity and distress even as the ball still bounces to a sputtering halt.  And we sputter on with it, shocked by how easy it all seemed and how easy it all disappeared and how familiar a cocktail it has become, this mixture of incredulity and angst.  But it’s not personal, not quite.

It’s just all become too much by now.  Too much for us and I wonder, in moments of self-reflection and candor, if it’s just too much for him too.  This can’t be fun, could hardly be bearable, and there’s so much of it — the boss, the media, the fit, the egos — that he has no control over, that must have been a source of stress and doubt from word one.  And yet he perseveres and he takes the body blows himself and there’s certainly a quiet nobility to that.  I would never deny it, would never stop respecting it.  He has a strength and loyalty that is downright honorable and I like him, at least from what I can sense of who he is.

But it’s over.  It has to be.  This must be what “over” looks like: when the simplest of tactical decisions are butchered, when the most straightforward principles of personnel utilization are openly ignored, when the answers in press conferences oscillate between hostility, indifference, and admissions of incompetence that sound like the taunts of a man who has run out of reasons to care what you think of him.  It’s like a bad marriage, all bitterness and exasperation and anticipation of the next failing, the next opportunity to play the cat and mouse game of scapegoating and evasion and confrontation and disgust.

Mike Woodson has coached 129 regular season games for the Knicks.  His record is 79-50, good for a .612 winning percentage that is better than every single coach in franchise history whose name isn’t Pat Riley.  The suggestion that he doesn’t deserve a 130th game, viewed in that light, seems like pure madness. Add to that the difficult truth that there may not be a better option out there right now, that even if there is, he probably won’t jump at the opportunity to coach a team that would still have plenty wrong with it.  It doesn’t matter, not now, not when stagnation looms scarier than uncertainty and any risks associated with discarding the devil we know are minimized by how little a team playing like this has to lose anyway.

Mike Woodson has done well in a hard job, has compiled a Knick coaching record that anyone could be proud of.  It’s not personal.  It’s just over.  This is what “over” looks like.

65 comments on “Wiz 102, Knicks 101: The Coach

  1. coyle022

    Woodson on Chris Smith getting called up: “that’s a possibility”

    Prepare world, for half-PipeSanity is upon us!

  2. wilsonjo

    honestly, i feel like this season is so fucked that at this point we should keep woodson on just to ensure that we really tank next year, when we have a shot at a pick at the end of all of this. What else is there, we muddle through the year with an interim herb williams and end up with very little going on. Why not blow it up? how could anything be more painful than this? there could be hope, but firing woodson and jumping at whatever coach is willing doesn’t sound like a good answer.

  3. ruruland

    Tank for what?

    This team is not positioned to tank. It can be pretty damn good when healthy and properly coached/managed.

    The Knicks can win the 4 seed without finishing much better than .500. If there was a year to have a horrible start and fire a coach before the calender turns, this is it.

  4. Donnie Walsh

    I’d just like to say that that was the single greatest game-thread to read, ever. From #117 (“I can’t watch this possession…” ) to #157 (“even Wally Szerbiak is like ‘I have no fucking idea what I just saw’”), had all the drama, catharsis, and denouement of an Wagnerian opera. WAaayyyy better than actually watching the game. Truly classic stuff. (It even had ruruland come on and explain why it was all Melo’s fault!)

  5. ruruland

    That was my first inclination because it appeared as though Melo waved off the timeout, but the comments and re-watching the final clip, there was plenty of time for a timeout to be called prior to the inbounds.

  6. Totes McGoats

    Welp…looks like we better make that trade for Lowry now huh? Geez! I still say no to moving Shump or TH2..but the way it looks now, Timmy can get us better than Lowry! That kid’s kinda good on offense. Great replacement for JR. Unfortunately no one wants JR at the moment. Even if someone does, we can’t trade him til Jan 15. If the team does decide to blow it up, then I’d say trade Melo to Washington or LAC. They both have young talent I wouldn’t mind building with in Griffin and Porter. LA’s an easier fit salary wise tho..DC not so much unless they wanna move Nene. What say ye?

  7. Donnie Walsh

    That last “We were supposed to call timeout but we didn’t” was from Melo. What does that mean?

    Wait, the coach can’t call time out, right? Only a player can. So if you’re supposed to call a timeout in that situation, why not just call the timeout? Why wait for the coach to give his blessing? (Especially when the coach just says to you: “go win the game for us, Mr Anthony” every close game)

  8. ruruland

    And that was after a make when the wizards could match-up in transition, not a miss like in the situation above.

  9. hoolahoop

    Wait, the coach can’t call time out, right? Only a player can.

    Coaches are allowed to call time out, now.

  10. Donnie Walsh

    Coaches are allowed to call time out, now.

    Oh, okay. Still, they’re not the only people that can call a TO. Was there nobody on the court able to recognize that a TO was not just good but absolutely necessary? (Call the TO and deal with any fallout later, that’s what a true leader would do).

  11. hoolahoop

    I know this sounds soft, but I suddenly realized why Dolan hasn’t fired Woodson.
    Firing someone sucks, especially if they’re a good person. When I watched Woodson’s post game interview, he took blame and I saw how distraught he was. I saw him as a person, not a coach. It’s easier to fire a coach of your favorite team on blog than a human being that works hard, cares, and has good character, that’s sitting in your office.
    I know it over for him. But, just sayin.

  12. hoolahoop

    Still, they’re not the only people that can call a TO. Was there nobody on the court able to recognize that a TO was not just good but absolutely necessary? (Call the TO and deal with any fallout later, that’s what a true leader would do).

    Both JR and Melo both admitted that they should have called TO.
    It was an all around blunder ending. The good news is that those three took responsibility. That’s huge.

  13. ruruland

    According to the data presented in the story above, I actually think if the Knicks had more time left to advance the ball full court (say 10-12 seconds), not calling a timeout was the proper decision.

    However, I would not have had Melo try to advance the ball up the floor given his lack of full court ballhandling speed.

    I’m not saying the Knicks made the decision to not call the timeout based on the data, but it’s pretty clear based on the story above that offense is less efficient out of timeouts.

  14. BigBlueAL

    The only time I remember Riley or JVG not calling a timeout before a final possession which lead to a stupid shot being missed to end the game was in 1998 vs Jordan and the Bulls at home in MSG (the season Ewing was out injured after breaking his wrist). Knicks were down 1, got a stop with like 10 secs left and JVG was waving the team down to push the ball and didnt call a timeout. It lead to Childs bringing the ball up quickly and missing a 20 footer at the buzzer. I was pretty pissed when that happened but nowhere near as pissed as I was tonight lol.

  15. Jack Bauer

    That was a BRUTAL ending. And the torture of this season continues to roll on…. Too bad Denver will be the beneficiary of this disaster.

  16. Donnie Walsh

    Both JR and Melo both admitted that they should have called TO.
    It was an all around blunder ending. The good news is that those three took responsibility. That’s huge.

    These guys aren’t college players, or rookies. They are the key players the team depends on to win ball games– a team with aspirations to contend for a championship with them at the core. If they can’t think straight during a home game in December against a weak team, how are we to expect them to do the right thing in the playoffs? (I guess this is why some guys are champions and other guys aren’t… It’s not all about raw talent.)

  17. AvonBarksdale

    These knuckleheads have no consistent effort or focus or desire to make each possession a smart and effective one regardless of whose coaching there is just no passion for winning. If melo would just run some more pick and rolls with stat and bargs he plays too many minutes to not want to make the damn game a little easier we still work too damn hard for buckets and rely on too many 3′s to bail us out or catch up more commonly. Shump on wall and meta on beal no Murray at least to see what the kid has in a real game is I have no idea why I am still psyched for the next game but they did seem to take some steps in some ways with jr hitting shots again and the ball movement was actually kinda fluid. No Pablo no bueno….

  18. JK47

    Right now the Knicks are the #18 offense and the #27 defense. The team figures to improve with the I don’t see a huge turnaround coming. There are 58 games left in the season. If the Knicks play .550 ball over those 58 games, that gets them to about 39 wins on the season. And maybe that gets you a cameo appearance in the playoffs. And that is really kind of a best case scenario. This team isn’t playing anywhere in the vicinity of .550 ball right now, and while Tyson Chandler is a nice player and his return will help, the Knicks have a lot of guys who kind of suck. The lack of good rotation players has forced Woodson to overuse oldies-but-goodies like Prigs and K-Mart, and those guys are already breaking down. Felton, Udrih, JR, Shump, MWP and Bargnani have all played pretty poorly.

    I just don’t see this team having enough good, healthy veteran players to make a meaningful run at anything, at any point in the season. I think the 39-win scenario is a best-case kind of deal, and I more expect the Knicks to limp home to a low-30′s win total. They should absolutely blow up the team, get some assets for Melo and Chandler, start letting contracts come off the books, but that is of course what sane and rational people would do. The guy who will actually be making the decisions is a cretinous turd who thinks Jim Belushi is a great blues musician and who is proud to be buddies with Isiah Thomas. It’s gonna be a long time before this team sniffs even a brief moment of relevance again.

  19. massive

    So we’re probably about to get screwed out of Iman Shumpert by Toronto for Kyle Lowry.

    The Knicks can’t stand pat, and Kyle Lowry is a very good player heading into his prime. I think if we add Lowry and Chandler to this group of guys, we get a lot better. I’d just hate to lose one of Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr.

    We have no choice but to make a trade. Beno Udrih is terrible. Chris Smith probably couldn’t be a high school All American right now, and Toure Murry has seen zero minutes against real competition.

    So it’s either we get Kyle Lowry, or hope Murry can bring us a Linsanity redux.

  20. JK47

    Shump for Lowry does not work in the Trade Machine– in fact, no trade for Lowry really works unless you throw in Felton. Felton is of course horrendous, and his contract runs through 2016, so you’re asking Toronto to once again take a bad long-term contract off your hands. Lowry for Shump and Felton would be a massive steal for the Knicks; they’d get a starting PG and his Bird Rights, and also unloading a bad contract in exchange for a very ordinary guard in Shumpert. No chance that happens without the Knicks adding a first rounder, especially since the Knicks’ leverage is even less now than it was when the rumor first surfaced.

  21. bobneptune

    the most humorous part of this must be the rest of the GM’s in the league understanding Dolan must be in desperation mode and fighting each other to get on the phone first to ass rape the Knicks out of their very few remaining assets.

    somewhere in indiana, an old Bronx native must be having a pretty good belly laugh…….

  22. flossy

    Again, it’s not whether you call a timeout or don’t call a timeout in that situation. Both options are valid, in the abstract. It’s that nobody had any idea what to do once they gave up an easy score, and everyone just stood around dumbstruck while about four seconds ran off the clock, resulting in a laughably terrible final attempt by Melo. Just pathetic all around.

  23. vincoug

    For all the talk about calling a timeout vs not calling a timeout nobody asks whether it would have mattered. We’ve seen the plays Woodson calls out of timeouts. All that would have happened is we would have run a terrible iso for Melo. It doesn’t excuse anyone for not taking a timeout but there it is.

  24. ephus

    For me, it is the entire last 48 seconds that begged for better coaching.

    1. Knicks ball with the game tied and 48 seconds left. Call time out if necessary, but signal 2 for 1. Have to get a shot up by 36 seconds left. Instead, Udrih aimlessly dribbled until 30 seconds were left and then had no options. He was bailed out by a stupid foul when he would have had to have thrown up a prayer.

    2. Have your defensive substitutions ready. If MWP is going to come in for Beno, it has to happen and not be a surprise.

    3. Use the foul.

    4. Call the timeout. Again, the coach is not supposed to be confused or surprised.

  25. Frank

    That was freaking brutal last night. When every single Knick fan watching is screaming timeout, and no one on the court thinks to do it, it’s a complete failure. Like others said above, it’s semi-excusable to not a call a timeout in a last-possession situation, but NOT when there’s only 6 seconds left on the clock. It takes 3 seconds at least to get up the court against even token pressure! And while I do blame Melo for not calling a timeout on his own (he does have the power to do that), it’s the coach’s job to see the total disarray and bail his own team out. Happens all the time. It’s freaking ridiculous.

    And that’s the trouble with this team. It’s not detail-oriented at all — there are good scorers on this team, some passable defenders, etc., but especially with Kmart, Tyson, and Prigioni hurt, there’s very little actual basketball IQ left. Melo, even though I really admire how hard he’s playing (he’s playing OUT OF HIS MIND in december btw – averaging basically 26 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists on a TS of 61.3) – like Chris Herring said, it’s basic possession management NOT to let the other team have another possession at the end of the 3rd quarter – but instead he threw up a 3 pointer with 6 seconds left, which allowed Webster to get the ball and hit the prayer at the buzzer. News flash Melo – you can get that 3 pointer anytime you want — put it up with 3 seconds or less!!!

    So some of this is on the players, but a lot of it is on the coaches. You need to preach 2 for 1′s at the end of quarters. You need to know what the defensive assignments are going to be in 1 possession situations. You cannot leave Beno Udrih on Bradley Beal in an iso situation without help, and you shouldn’t freaking have Beno in the game anyway!!! Have Shump guard Wall and put Hardaway or MWP or whoever else against Beal.

    It’s just so disappointing. Team played really hard last night but playing hard and dumb is no substitute for playing smart.

  26. Frank

    I know this sounds soft, but I suddenly realized why Dolan hasn’t fired Woodson.
    Firing someone sucks, especially if they’re a good person. When I watched Woodson’s post game interview, he took blame and I saw how distraught he was. I saw him as a person, not a coach. It’s easier to fire a coach of your favorite team on blog than a human being that works hard, cares, and has good character, that’s sitting in your office.
    I know it over for him. But, just sayin.

    Hoola — totally agree. I’ve come to look at Woodson sort of like Rex Ryan (although I think Rex is a far superior strategist/tactician compared to Woody). They are both good men that players enjoy playing for. With great talent they’re probably capable of reaching conference finals. But when you reach those highest levels where the talent is closely matched and every little advantage counts, Rex and Woody are a detriment, not an advantage. I said this a week or two ago and it’s not rocket science – but if this team is serious about competing for championships, you can’t walk into that fight with a clear disadvantage on the bench. Woody’s a great guy, but it’s a joke if you compare him to Popovich, Spoelstra, Frank Vogel, etc.. He’s like Scott Brooks – probably holds the team back as opposed to putting them over the top.

    He needs to go. He knows it, the team knows it (Melo did basically throw him under the bus), we all know it. The question is whether Dolan can make the call, and who is out there to replace him. I’m totally unconvinced that Allan Houston will be any better, and who else is there? PJ? Why would he take over another team in midseason when it blew up in his face last time even though he did a great job with BKN (and he was already an assistant at the time)?

  27. Hubert

    ruruland December 17, 2013 at 12:28 am

    That was my first inclination because it appeared as though Melo waved off the timeout, but the comments and re-watching the final clip, there was plenty of time for a timeout to be called prior to the inbounds.

    Melo still bears a ton of blame there. He had the ball in his hands and no idea what to do. I would venture 99.9% of NBA players, if they got the ball with 6 seconds left down one and weren’t sure what was supposed to happen, would instinctively call timeout. Hell Chris Webber did when he didn’t even have a timeout.

    It’s not like Pop’s Spurs, who are a well-oiled machine; or tyus edney, who knew his team was out of timeouts.

    You don’t need the coach to call timeout for you.

  28. Hubert

    I know this sounds soft, but I suddenly realized why Dolan hasn’t fired Woodson.
    Firing someone sucks, especially if they’re a good person. When I watched Woodson’s post game interview, he took blame and I saw how distraught he was. I saw him as a person, not a coach.

    I agree to an extent. I really like Mike Woodson personally and wish he was a better coach. Sometimes when I scream for him to be fired I realize I’m talking about someone’s dad and he’s a good man and it’s Christmas and everything.

    But come on. We’re good people, too. And you want to talk about distraught? Look at us! We’re distraught! And we don’t get paid for this (except the KB writers, who are all on 6 figure stipends from the NBA).

    I actually wonder now if Dolan just thinks it’s wrong to fire a loyal employee around Christmas and that’s what he’s waiting for.

  29. Frank

    Melo still bears a ton of blame there. He had the ball in his hands and no idea what to do. I would venture 99.9% of NBA players, if they got the ball with 6 seconds left down one and weren’t sure what was supposed to happen, would instinctively call timeout. Hell Chris Webber did when he didn’t even have a timeout.

    It’s not like Pop’s Spurs, who are a well-oiled machine; or tyus edney, who knew his team was out of timeouts.

    You don’t need the coach to call timeout for you.

    you’re definitely right, but it’s the head coach’s job to be the smartest guy on the team. he doesn’t have to dribble, avoid defenders, etc.. His only job is to put his team in a position to win and to think even one step ahead. When Woody saw confusion, he HAS to call timeout. HAS TO. We don’t have a “coach on the floor” this year, which means we need an actual coach on the bench. We don’t have one right now. He’s lost the team, and even worse, he’s lost confidence even in himself. You could see it in the press conference. He’s flailing, second-guessing, etc. It’d be one thing if he had a history of being on top of everything all the time and had one bad moment. But this is what people said about him all the time, why Atlanta fired him even though ATL got better each year he was there. Good enough to make the playoffs, not good enough to make a real run.

  30. CN

    I don’t want this to turn into a bashing-woody session, but did anybody notice the out of bounds play Woody tried to run after the TV timeout in the 4th quarter (I think?). Hardaway got the ball at the elbow and tried to dump it in to a clearly covered STAT (and the ball soared over his head). I get that the execution was suspect, at the very best, but… yeah. If that’s how woody designs plays I certainly wouldn’t want to call a timeout if I were him either.

  31. er

    ——Im gonna somewhat split the difference with you Hubert and Frank. I say its 80-20 Woody. If you watch the replay after Beal abused Beno the whole Knicks squad litterally just stood in a collective disbelief. They were in shock and im really not sure why. Anyhow, Melo seemed to be the only one to somewhat snap out of it and waved Beno i believe to just throw him the ball. This tells me that there was no contigency plan in the huddle. As far as players calling the timeouts, your own C Webb point probably haunts players at the end of games. They may not even have known how many timeouts they had and they dont want to be the jackass who gets T’d up for calling an extra timeout. The Injury to Pablo basically left the Knicks with no floor general so that hurt the situation and also i blame woody for not giving Beno ANY rest after Pablo went out. (See missed 4th quarter freethrow) All in all the last two losses have been soul crushing. should be at least 9-15 smh

  32. ephus

    The loss is on Woodson. If Woodson and Carmelo were both confused, it is on Woodson because he is the coach.

    This feels like the aftermath of Stonehenge in This Is Spinal Tap – and David St. Hubbins scolding of the manager (Ian Faith) for following the moronic directions of the lead guitarist (Nigel) is spot on:

    But you’re not as confused as him, are you? I mean, it’s not your job to be as confused as Nigel.

    It’s not Woodson’s job to be as confused as the players.

  33. salbls

    If they can’t think straight during a home game in December against a weak team, how are we to expect them to do the right thing in the playoffs? (I guess this is why some guys are champions and other guys aren’t… It’s not all about raw talent.)

    Like this is news? Regardless of their record last season it has been clear for three years that there are not enough brains on that court to win a championship. I take last year as an aberration, this year as an injury plagued aberration (missing Chandler just kills them), and the truth somewhere in between. It is almost like we – the fans – are trying to will them to be smart. When the ball finally does move, when Melo finally does see the double team in time to do something about it, when someone finally does run up the court full speed with Shumpert (actually, I have NEVER seen that happen), its like, OK, they are starting to understand how to play this game on the next level. And then? Stuff like last night. OMG, was this not discussed in the previous huddle? Clearly, they were instructed to give that foul, but the guy was just too quick. Without Chandler in there the odds of help coming were pretty slim, so that is just basketball. And NOT calling a timeout IS a strategy, even with only 7 seconds left, but was it decided on? What the hell was said in the huddle? Did they get to the part about what to do if Washington scored? That is a total lack of professionalism. If Woody did not bring it up someone else should have. And if not, Melo should have known what to do when he got the ball. Like I said, we just keep hoping that they are smart. That and two and a half dollars…..

    Has anyone tallied up them total years of college ball that the Knicks played before they became pros? I bet it is near the lowest in the league.

  34. chrisk06811

    In fairness, I think nobody knew what to do because they were all so shocked that Bradley Beal could blow past Beno like that.

  35. flossy

    The loss is on Woodson. If Woodson and Carmelo were both confused, it is on Woodson because he is the coach.

    Seriously. If you’re a head coach it is your job to make sure you know exactly how you want to play these late game situations and make sure your whole damn teams knows too. Everyone needs to know how many time outs you have left. Everyone needs to know if you have a foul to give. Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding the defensive strategy on the other team’s final possession. Everyone needs to be prepared for the possibility that you can’t get a stop! What the fuck are you doing if not making those decisions and making sure your players know how to execute?! What on earth did they even TALK about during that final time out???

  36. johnno

    Ephus — you realize that your post raises the obvious question — Are we going to do Stonehenge Wednesday night against the Bucks?

  37. thenamestsam

    Ephus is hitting the nail on the head here (and with an awesome quote to go with it). Melo’s awareness left a massive amount to be desired there. Even if we were determined to go without a timeout he probably shouldn’t have been the guy bringing it up the court as he isn’t the fastest guy with the ball in his hands, and him decelerating as he neared midcourt was one of the inexplicable things any Knicks has done this year (and that’s saying quite a lot).

    But I can excuse Melo’s confusion. He was just focusing 100% on defending a lead, now all of the sudden the game situation has completely changed, and everybody’s postgame comments make it obvious that they hadn’t discussed what would happen if they gave up a lead. So I can excuse Melo who was out there busting his ass for another 42 minutes (still a huge problem by the way), for getting caught up in the heat of the moment, for calling for the ball and being single-mindedly focused on getting a shot to win the game. For maybe even losing track of how much time was left briefly and not pushing the ball as hard as he needed to.

    What I can’t excuse is a coach who is as caught up in the moment as his players. His only job is to be the cooler head. The voice of reason. For him to panic in that moment is beyond inexcusable. Even if he preferred to go with no timeout, not only did he not tell his team about it in the huddle before, but more critically to me, he should have seen that it wasn’t working. When they walked to pick up the ball. When Melo caught it and started slowly walking up the court. When he decelerated at halfcourt. He should have seen that they needed the timeout and called it. But he froze up. Pretty much the only reason you have a coach is to stand above the fray and impose some order on it. And Woodson is every bit as much in the muck as guys like JR and Melo (braniacs neither). He’s not doing his only job. He has to go.

  38. ephus

    Ephus — you realize that your post raises the obvious question — Are we going to do Stonehenge Wednesday night against the Bucks?

    I literally laughed out loud when I read this.

    Chris Smith is the Puppet Show. I pray that it does not come to that.

  39. Hubert

    vincoug December 17, 2013 at 7:22 am

    For all the talk about calling a timeout vs not calling a timeout nobody asks whether it would have mattered. We’ve seen the plays Woodson calls out of timeouts. All that would have happened is we would have run a terrible iso for Melo. It doesn’t excuse anyone for not taking a timeout but there it is.

    You’re not wrong. I said in the game thread last night:

    Let’s be honest, had he called time out and drawn up a play, we still would have ended up with Melo taking a bad last second off balance long jumper.

  40. thenamestsam

    What on earth did they even TALK about during that final time out???

    I just sort of imagine Woodson doing his blank stare as he looks around the huddle, and then a tiny drop of drool worms its way over the top of his lip and *plop* falls onto the clipboard. At which point the whistle blows and everybody wanders back out onto the court.

  41. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I actually wonder now if Dolan just thinks it’s wrong to fire a loyal employee around Christmas

    Seeing as Scott Layden was fired on December 22nd, I don’t think that’s Dolan’s holdup. (But it was a nice try, trying to inject a little humanity into the satanic skin-bag of James Dolan)

  42. Hubert

    The crazy thing is WE all see the disarray from last night and know that it’s inexcusable because WE all live in a world with accountability and WE also watch other teams and know how it’s supposed to be.

    Is there any reason to think DOLAN knows that? Does he even think last night was bad? That kind of terrible management is probably par for the course in his life. Does he even know what a 2-for-1 is? Does he even know the meaning of not using the foul to give? Does he even know we had three timeouts?

    These are all legitimate questions, unfortunately. He might just think we lost a heartbreaker.

  43. thenamestsam

    Let’s be honest, had he called time out and drawn up a play, we still would have ended up with Melo taking a bad last second off balance long jumper.

    Nobody can disagree with this, but there’s still different calibers of Melo bad last second off balance jumpers, and the running toss is definitely the lowest of the low. The way Melo was shooting last night he might have actually made the jumper on Woody’s generic horrible last-second play call. But we had to up the degree of difficulty significantly beyond even that.

  44. Hubert

    By the way, I wasn’t blaming Melo over Woodson.

    I’m just kinda shocked he didn’t call time out, is all. It goes to show that Woodson has fucked these guys up so much that they don’t even remember their most basic instincts. I said 99.9% of players would call TO not to fault Melo, just to express how much of a clusterfuck we’ve created here.

    If this were last year, and we were playing well, and there wasn’t so much general confusion, I think that TO gets called, either by the coach or a player.

    We didn’t have anyone with a high basketball IQ on the court, though.

  45. d-mar

    To me, the stupidest blunder by Woodson (and there are plenty to choose from) was having Udrih in at the end of the game AND HAVING HIM GUARD THE HOTTEST PLAYER ON THE OTHER TEAM! How does that remotely make any sense? And then afterwards he says he wanted to put Metta in there? Well, why wasn’t he?

    There is absolutely no excuse for the complete mismanagement of the final minute of that game, one of the worst coaching meltdowns I’ve ever witnessed in any sport.

  46. Frank

    You know who Woody is just like? And not just because they’re bald black coaches. He’s like Mike Brown. I still remember during Lebron’s last season in Cleveland how in end-of-game situations it’d be Chris Jent drawing up plays in the huddle while Mike Brown wandered around aimlessly. The difference is that we don’t have a Chris Jent on the sideline. Or a Jason Kidd. Or a Kurt Thomas or Rasheed Wallace or anyone resembling someone with a basketball brain.

    And absolutely absolutely agree with Kevin on this tweet: @knickerbacker: Honestly the “We assumed we’d get a stop” quote is the single biggest indictment of Woodson. I could forgive everything but that.

    It’s a completely ridiculous thing to do/admit. It’s coaching malpractice.

  47. Hubert

    You know who Woody is just like? And not just because they’re bald black coaches. He’s like Mike Brown.

    The funny part is I thought you were going to say Mike Jarvis, who pulled similar stunts at St John’s.

  48. Frank

    The sad thing about this is that Tyson is coming back Wednesday and WILL paper over a lot of deficiencies. We’ll win more games. We might even get into the playoffs and past the 1st round although the latter seems unlikely. But we will never have a talent advantage great enough to overcome Woodson’s deficiencies in the ECFs or NBA finals.

  49. DRed

    In fairness, I think nobody knew what to do because they were all so shocked that Bradley Beal could blow past Beno like that.

    Funniest play of the night. Beno is pointing baseline, and Beal is like “Thanks for indicating the area of the court where there are no other defenders coming to help” and just strolls to the hoop like he’s on a layup line in practice. Somehow, this was shocking to the other Knicks players, who apparently haven’t seen any Knicks games this season.

  50. Hubert

    If Tyson comes back and buys Woodson more time that is just terrible.

    If he’s being rushed back to save Woodson’s job (which I suspect he is) that is beyond any adjective I can think of.

  51. er

    Funniest play of the night. Beno is pointing baseline, and Beal is like “Thanks for indicating the area of the court where there are no other defenders coming to help” and just strolls to the hoop like he’s on a layup line in practice. Somehow, this was shocking to the other Knicks players, who apparently haven’t seen any Knicks games this season

    —–Like who the hell was he pointing to?

  52. hoolahoop

    I think the knicks have more talent than people realize . . . because they’re playing like shit as a team. Amare is showing signs of why he was signed to his big contract. If he continues to come around to being his old self, plus being more committed to defense, it can change the entire dynamic of this team. And, with Prigs and Tyson back, what this team really needs, really really needs is an elite coach. But who?

  53. DRed

    Bradley Beal had no idea the Knicks left 3 TOs on the table. “Did the really. Hooly.” Later: “That probably could have changed a few things”

    Can’t really put into words Beal’s expression there. He shrugged for a good five seconds, like a kid who found out Santa doesn’t exist.

    haha. Fucking Knicks, man. I mean what’s left to say at this point?

  54. er

    haha. Fucking Knicks, man. I mean what’s left to say at this point?

    —-exactly im just in the acceptance phase. Ill be happy if they turn it around, but the tomfoolery has been mindnumbing and i dont expect them to stop

  55. johnno

    Quotes from the Wiz re: the last play –
    Beal — “There was absolutely no one even paying attention.”
    Gortat — “I think they got lost.”
    Note — they were talking about the last shot, not what happened immediately thereafter but, if the shoe fits…

  56. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    This team isn’t playing anywhere in the vicinity of .550 ball right now…

    Well, technically the Knicks are playing in the vicinity of .550 ball over the past two weeks. Since the losing streak they are 4-4. But it sure doesn’t seem like .500 ball. (in 24 games the Knicks still haven’t won a game they were trailing at halftime)

  57. domiknick

    —–Like who the hell was he pointing to?

    I think in Beno’s mind he was saying to Bargs (who was guarding the screener to Beno’s left) “I’m going to send Beal baseline, be there too.” But as we all know, Bargs did none of that (remember, “Bargs = bad help defender” alert!). But I don’t even think the screen was really set yet. Beno basically jumped the gun on the screen. He was going for the switch before the screen even came, which left both Beno & Bargs guarding the non-threat screener (whoever it was) and Beal having a red carpet the size of a jet runway to the hoop.

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