Amid reports of coach’s imminent demise, Melo says, ‘We gotta help Woody’

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Amid multiple reports that Knicks coach Mike Woodson is on the brink of losing his job, Carmelo Anthony defended his coach, both on the court and in the locker room.

Anthony poured in 31 points in a 117-90 laugher over his old team, the Denver Nuggets, to halt a three-game losing streak and said the players needed to help the coach going forward.

“We gotta help him, too,” Anthony said of Woodson. “At the end of the day, he’s the coach. He has his focus, he has his game-plan, his schemes, and we the ones that gotta go out there and execute that. At the end of the day, we can’t fight that. We gotta do it.”

Anthony confirmed a Daily News report that he met with Knicks owner James Dolan following Wednesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, although Anthony wouldn’t delve into the details of the meeting.

“Yeah, I hope I can meet with the owner sometimes,” Anthony said with a smile. “I met with him. It wasn’t nothing serious, it was just a generic conversation, just talking. I had tea, he had some tea. That’s it, we didn’t get into details about anything. It was just a conversation that we had.”

Before the game, Woodson took responsibility for the team’s situation. The Knicks are currently two games back of the eighth spot in the East.

“I can’t point the finger at nobody,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m the head coach of this team and somehow I gotta continue to push this team and get them to believe that we can make the playoffs. That’s what we’re in it for. We were in it to win the division and that’s somewhat slipping away from us right now, but we still gotta push to get in the playoffs.”

The Knicks are now 20-30 on the season with 32 games left.

Just to finish at .500 (41-41), they would need to go 21-11.

If you figure that a 39-43 record gets them into the playoffs in the dreadful Eastern Conference, then the Knicks must go 19-13 down the stretch.

Can that happen? Will it?

“It’s important to move as high as you can,” Woodson said, “but it’s important to get in because once you get in, anything can happen in a playoff.”


Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.

 





118 comments

Sorry Vis... You've been good to us but Austria awaits you!

Would be a mistake to keep him with the concussion issues. I'd rather trade to get a decent Dman.


Chris Millen
Chris Millen

Brian strait is a bum. Ahl player at best

dzruggie
dzruggie

The question is De Hann.  Is he or isn't he?  You have to like what Mayfield brought to the table but I am not so sure they roll 2, let alone 3 (if we talk Reinhardt / Pullock) rookies on the back end.  At some point you need holes to allow the young guys a chance to step up but not sure Cappy is going to take that type of risk.  I could see: Boychuck - Leddy, Hammer - (Reinhardt or Pullock), Mayfield - Hickey top 6. 

Keep him over Strait please.

Matt Di Giacomo
Matt Di Giacomo

I agree. Kids still need a year to fine tune themselves.

Matt Di Giacomo
Matt Di Giacomo

When he's healthy he's reliable. The kids could use another year in the minors to fine tune themselves. I say let him come back for a mil.

ccm27
ccm27

Lubomir viznovsky born August 11 1976. He'll be 39 when the season begins. Hopefully snow looks around elsewhere via free agency or trade. Btw after getting jackhammered in the playoffs shouldn't he be thinking about his long term health??

Don22
Don22

@ccm27 Unfortunately a lot of athletes aren't wired that way.  The only thing they think about is playing.  

ccm27
ccm27

I totally agree don but his want to play shouldn't influence snow if A. There are other options. B. there is a legitimate concern about his short-term and longterm health. Hope you are well.

tpjm
tpjm

LOL@ccm27 I'm still laughing from when the guy at Newsday said you were an idiot.  He was right.   LOL

Brian Ketcham
Brian Ketcham

Is he even able to skate or work out yet??... thanks for your service but I say pass...

Rich Colacino
Rich Colacino

The guy is done.....let him go.....NHL is a young man fast game and he is old, slow and soft. Time to move on.

@Rich Colacino he only fits one of the traits you said. he's neither slow or soft. get a grip

Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

Lubo has proven when healthy he's still quite good. Plus he's a veteran leader on a team without much leadership. Definitely have him back on a one year deal

realhlywd
realhlywd

Sign him for 1 year at the same salary. Give him a good send off to what's been a very good career. 

Not to mention, the Isles are a much better team when he's in the lineup! Lesson his 5 on 5 minutes by placing him on the 3rd D pairing, which in itself, lowers his chance of injury. Have him anchor the PP, while at the same time, mentor the likes of pulock, reinhart and the rest of what looks as though to be a very young defense, with the exception of the top 2 of course. From what i've read, he is a vocal and positive presents in the locker room. Can't go wrong here imo, as long as he's not putting his health at risk

Mike T.
Mike T.

I a limited role at the right price, why not have him back?

primus
primus

My thoughts exactly mike. He is obviously liked in the room and we have young dmen that could use the mentoring.

nyicdneh
nyicdneh

Isles interest in Lubo even at the age of 38 is purely that after Leddy he's the best puck moving DMan we have. Hammer started to show glimpses of this ability last year. The Isles system is to push the puck out of their own end up to the forwards ASAP, so they can use their speed to gain the offensive zone with the least amount of opposition.

However, problem with Lubo is he's almost out of the line up more than he's in it. Concussions, injuries et al. Having said that unless he takes a shave to the tune of $2M or less, you can't sign him. Anything more than that and you have too much cap space tied up in an in and out of the line up player.

Better to sign a UFA with a similar skill set who will play a predictable number of games or save the $ entirely and use it elsewhere and give Mayfield or Pulock the opportunity to play next year at a more cap friendly number IMO.

benmoz
benmoz

MY OH MY HOW THE TIDES HAVE TURNED..

since72
since72

It may be time to move on for the good of the organization and for Lubo.  There are only so many roster spots.  Signing a fragile, smaller vet like him is difficult to rationalize.  I believe that he can still play and be productive, but he is always that one hit away from harm and in the NHL, the goons are enabled by the league and the refs.  The next hit could hurt him badly. Our top 3 D have been in the league long enough to mentor the kids.  Offer him a scouting position to keep him in the organization.  If he wants to play, let it be in Europe. 

dinbigd
dinbigd

Time to move on. Isles need to improve not maintain or get worse. Vish is done in the NHL. Isles need to give Mayfield a solid shot next year. They must get bigger & more physical. Cannot continue to have soft forwards along w/ undersized soft Dmen. I think Garth needs to sign or trade for another Dman that can play 2cnd pair minutes. Vish is not irreplaceable.

Don22
Don22

@dinbigd It's funny how Mayfield plays a good 2 games and suddenly he is the next in line to get a shot.


I'm not saying you are wrong, but we put way too much stock on players in such short sample sizes - both good and bad.  In the short time Mayfield played he is the next guy, and in the short time Reinhart has played he is out.  YET, Reinhart is hands down the player with the better skills.  

erika
erika

@Don22 @dinbigd That's because in the 7 games I watched Reinhart play, he has yet to show me any useful skill...not even a glimpse of what could be...

Mayfield in the 4 times (2 in playoffs) I have seen him play, always played hard, and hit everyone...something the Isles are sorely lacking...a D-man with a mean streak! 

I don't know Don...if the season started tomorrow, who do you want shadowing the rags, Reinhart or Mayfield?

WoodsideNative
WoodsideNative

Strait should have been gone a year or two ago. Visnovsky doesn't hurt the defense....as long as he's on the ice...and his age is up there.

Chris Ward
Chris Ward

As the playoffs showed, you can never have to many capaple Dmen, you never truely know how injuries will affect the season, sign Lubo!

Dan Hungerbühler
Dan Hungerbühler

If he can give you 40 gms he's worth it. Our third best d men last season. The idea that you can replace him by a rookie or a free agent is wishful thinking

Mike Sitler
Mike Sitler

you can't bring up one of the young goalies that were just signed out of college. I can see Poulan given the back up if there is no other option available

mrcisback
mrcisback

As far as i'm concerned only Hamonic,Leddy and Boychuk are guaranteed to make the Islanders defense out of training camp. No more 38 or 39 year old Visnovski, 5-10 185 pound Hickey,or Strait. Snow was able to pick up 2 top defenseman in 1 day. He might have to trade for or sign 1 or 2 more top 3 or 4 rated defenseman. The last 2 spots should be filled out by Reinhart,Pulock,Mayfield or Dehaan. The Islanders Must improve on the 22 rated defense in the NHL and the worst defensive team that made the playoffs. The Islanders need to be in the top 10 defense next year if were going to move forward.

phishstyx1
phishstyx1

@mrcisback  5'8 actually hockey players are over listed. They have Hickey a 6' no way is he 6' 

erika
erika

I remember he was doing everything possible to avoid coming to the Isles, and I did not like him very much.

Now..I cant help remembering in game 3 at the coli, him getting hammered, going into the locker room, and coming back in the 3rd to score! When he was made one of the stars of the game, he skated around the ice slluting the fans....then, I really liked him!

...But, the bottom line is his body cannot take the rigors of playoff hockey....and we really need D-men than can ace that gig!. I was going to say keep him around to mentor the young D-corps coming up, but I just don't buy into that. I feel that rarely works. I think the results are much better when you put a line of kids together and let them learn and feed off each other. there is always a healthy competition and they always try to one up each other which translates to life long friendships, and most important on ice production.   

puckdad99
puckdad99

@erika 

<<I think the results are much better when you put a line of kids together and let them learn and feed off each other>> 

I think that's true with forwards, not so true for D men. Pairing a rookie D and an experienced D makes the most sense to me. 

That's not to say that I want Viz back. I don't see how he fits in. It's not about dollars or term, it's about the roster spot. If we could keep him at the Bridge on a 2-way and call him up when needed, that might make sense, but I don't believe that's possible. 

Don22
Don22

@puckdad99 @erika You are misunderstanding what a 2-way deal is.  That only means that a player is paid differently depending on which league he plays.  You would have to get him to agree to an AHL contract and then call him up.  I guess you could sign him to an NHL contract and try to send him down but a) he may not agree to it and b) he has to pass through waivers.  As a fan we probably don't care about a & b, but as an organization they have to.  


Something tells me he's not going to agree to being in the AHL.  BUT I don't think I mind signing him to be the 6th/7th guy as stated above.  

Thomas Metzger
Thomas Metzger

Think it's time for him to move on.Too many injuries.Isles need to get bigger and younger on DROP Strait,trade Dahaan,and bring up Mayfield,Pulock,and Rheinhart.Bring up one of their young goalies,too.

Don22
Don22

I agree with your premise.  But there is no way you bring in 3 rookie defensemen to play on the same roster.  That would be disaster. 


Strait isn't going anywhere.  He has a very agreeable contract and fits in well as a 7th/8th guy who can sit for a while and then play a few games when needed.

ccm27
ccm27

Don-athletes very rarely know when its time to go. Shouldn't he(lubo) be thinking about his long-term health?? And can it be said its a bit of false security bringing him back??

Nathan Kerr
Nathan Kerr

Unless they get him really cheap (1 mil) where he could be the 6th or 7th d-man, they need to move on. He isn't great defensively (never blocks shots) and his power play production was mediocre at best. Plus he gets injured too often.

russ1975
russ1975

My problem with Visnovsky is he's always injured, he only played in 53 games.

Don22
Don22

Ahhhh, there are the Knicks comments.  Oh how I've missed you so.




Don22
Don22

@puckdad99 @Don22 LOL!  My only rational thinking on why this happens is maybe each blog has it's own server and they don't have enough storage on the Knicks server, so they move the comments over here.  Have you noticed they are all comments from over a year ago?  They are never recent comments (not that there would be many). 


That is the only reason I can think where they could accept this kind of ineptitude for such a long time.

tpjm
tpjm

LOL@puckdad99 So then why do you spend/waste so much time here fool?  Obama rules!  BEST PRESIDENT EVER!!!

puckdad99
puckdad99

@Don22 

The Knicks posts are there because we have a state-of-the-art website here. The only website more cutting edge than ours is the ObamaCare website.

Scott Trinkwald
Scott Trinkwald

Let him walk, can't stay healthy. We need a reliable top 6 vet.