Beno Udrih showing what a system can do for a veteran guard

Harris Decker

First of all, I don’t believe in hitting a man while he’s down. This is less about Mike Woodson and more about the people who have told me that it was the players, not the coach, that caused the Knicks to regress from a 54 win team to a 37 win team. Woodson was fired as the Knicks coach yesterday and he was the man to blame for the Knicks failures this season.

Beno Udrih GrizzliesCase in point: Beno Udrih. On Monday night, I was enjoying some playoff basketball when Udrih came out of nowhere and hit a shot. He not only hit one shot, but two, three… He finished the game with 14 points on a remarkable 6-of-8 from the field. These weren’t shots with the game out of reach or with massive injuries sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies. These were quality minutes in the middle of a very close playoff game by a veteran rotation player.

With the Knicks, Udrih averaged 5.6 points, 3.5 assists and 19 minutes per game over his brief stint in New York. While he hasn’t been a game-changer on the Grizzlies, he is a quality piece. A role player. A guy that David Joerger trusts while giving his regulars a rest. In New York, Udrih played most of his minutes in mop-up duty or in place of injured point guards Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton. He was never truly a part of the offense and because there was no system, Udrih was left to scrap and claw for minimal production.

Now, surrounded by both talent and a defined system, he’s playing the exact role that Glen Grunwald had imagined for Udrih when he signed with the Knicks. He’s spelling the point guards and putting in solid minutes during the second and third quarters. Good teams have systems that allow any player to come off the bench and fit in. With Woodson’s (lack of a) system, it was all about a few key scorers and everyone else just standing around.

It hurts to watch guys like Beno Udrih thrive on other teams, especially when the Knicks are on the outside looking in. Still, this was more about people who don’t want to blame Woodson. The lower tier of players disappear when there isn’t a clear system. The superstars still thrive but it is the low guy on the ladder that gets hurt the most. Watching Udrih score against the Thunder last night assured me that it was more about Mike Woodson’s system than anything else in 2013-14.




152 comments
frankieboy
frankieboy

Was waiting for something on Beno. 


Just highlights Woodson's inability to have any vision and use his players to their strengths

lobcity1
lobcity1

If Scotty Gets fired I will like him here. I tjink OKC problem is that they have no shooters. They should have picked up Miller. Every post season we see how Miami beat teams with the likes of James Jones, Mike Miller, and Battier coming through hitting outside shots. Okc does not have that. Harden was that guy but they decided to keep Ibaka.

Sandro Guedes
Sandro Guedes

Kevin Ollie. Steve Clifford, Jeff Hornacek, Steve Kerr, Billy Donovan.

Would be pleased with any one of these guys.

No homo.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

can we dispense with this nonsense that no oone but a Phil Jackson "disciple" can come here and teach a system?


I mean the record of Phil Jackson's disciples is distinguished by wining around 3 games out of 10 over the long term..  Not that the next disciple wont succeed but Phil doesnt have the long lineage of other "coaching trees" in the forest


Seriously though.. I am one to believe that ANY bright coach can be hired and learn Phil's principles in about 3 hours.. And we KNOW Phil will be hanging around practice at least for the initial training camp... 


i know i would like a YOUNG coach who can hopefully be here for the long haul... I'd like a motivator who has played the game at the NBA level and has a high IQ for LEARNING and is not set into his ways..I'd also like someone with some ties to previous successful coaches..


In order of preference I would like:


Marc Jackson

Johnny Dawkins

Sydney Johnson

Billy Donovan (long shot)

Steve Kerr


any other names i'm missing..


NO to Lionel Hollins.. NO to Vogel.. No to Scott Brooks


Either way PLEASE have a process to hire the next coach and not a coronation just because someone played for Phil Jackson in the past

bigdishing
bigdishing

I thought exactly the same thing last night. But, I think a lot of players--felton, jr, chandler, shump--came off as pretty unprofessional this year too. Maybe Beno could have been Jason Kidd light this year, and maybe it was partly his fault....

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Where KidKiyan today?  I thought the Obamas had their Easter egg hunt yesterday!

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

A few caveats.  Pretty well known that Beno came into our training camp out of shape.  As a new PG signed in the off season, you would think he would want to make a good impression.  So I think Woodson didn't play him early bc of that.  


Also, Beno is not really better, overall, than Felton or Prigioni, especially on defense.  Prigs is probably the best defender of the 3 and that's not a very high bar to set.  Prigs tries and does some crafty things but he's just too old and small.  


That being said, Woodson absolutely under used Beno.  He was probably the best pure passing PG on the team.  When Woodson threw him under the bus, that was unacceptable.


Also, remember the new year Texas road trip?  Felton and Prigs were out if I remember and Beno started.  We beat San Antonio (handily), barely lost to Houston and beat Dallas.  More importantly, Shump had his best 3 game stretch of the season.  He exploded on offense.  Was it a coincidence?  Nope.  Shump and Felton do not mesh well.  There was an article after that road trip that talked about the reasons.  Basically Felton is right handed (I believe) and operates mainly in an area of the court where its hard for him to set Shump up in spots where Shump shoots his best.  But Beno is left handed, so him and Shump meshed very well together bc he was able to pass the ball to Shump in the flow of the offense in spots where Shump shoots very well.  


But despite going 2-1 against 3 good western conference playoff teams, Woodson immediately put Felton back in the starting line up when he returned and worse, kept Shump in the starting line up so that he didn't really play with Beno.  I believe Felton and Prigs came back around the same time, so despite winning games against good teams with Beno starting, Woodson parked him on the bench.  This has two negative results.  First, it ignores the obvious success the team had with Beno starting.  Second, it completely demoralizes the player who got those minutes and produced results.  A basketball team is like a small family.  There are only 15 players.  If one player is demoralized and sulking, it really affects the team as a whole.  Why should a player care about the team if he gets minutes while another guy is injured and the team wins, only to be benched again when that player (who has played like crap all season) returns?


Felton, Prigs and Beno…none of them are good starting PGs in the NBA.  All of them are probably pretty good back ups.  Knowing this about your team, the PG position should have been based on who was playing the best during a particular game or stretch of games. Felton did not deserve to be backed as the starter no matter what bc of some veteran pecking order.  Prigs is in his mid 30s and is a legend in Europe.  Beno is as much of a veteran as Felton.  Its not like Felton is the veteran and Prigs and Beno are rookies or young inexperienced players.

dagawd
dagawd

Pop got coach of the year cause they owed him 1 for the finals last year.


Jeff deserved it, first year coach taking a team to almost 50 wins and almost making the playoffs in a tough west

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

Everybody made fun of little Beno--he's saying "Look at me now."

rico
rico

I don't want Ewing as a coach in NY. I think he's an ok assistant elsewhere but when he gets to NY it's all about him. He has a sense of entitlement and that's not what we need. 


On Beno, it seems Mills wanted to fire Woody every day so if he had so little confidence in Woody why did he cut Beno and Metta, not for Woody.  So it means Dolan, Mills, Houston, Warkentein didn't think they were helping a lockeroom run-a-muck

melo7
melo7

I'd rather billy donovan then Steve Kerr. I'd want Kerr as gm and donovan as coach and Fisher and Ewing as assistants

po_diddley
po_diddley

Oh right, he's the a$$h0!3 that passed to JR on that offensive rebound and Woody completely threw under the bus.

"I don't like hitting a man when he's down".......but STOMP!

chudogz1
chudogz1

All year, until the buy out, I was saying Beno needed to play more, especially after helping us go on a 6 game win streak..... then guys like BiggieTKB were bashing me...... SMH

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@lobcity OKC problem is that Scott has to tone down Westbook and remind him he's a PG that needs to distribute the ball and defer more to Durant!

Even Barkley got that correct last night and he's usually TURRIBLE!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@lobcity  Brooks gets a lot of the same criticism that Woody gets.. but so do most coaches.


won a chip playing gainst us.. then played for us.. Im just not enamored about having him in NY.. he didnt win with durant, westbrrok and harden.//not a fan of his pedigree.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@Sandro Guedes  Hornacek and Clifford?


both rookie coaches who outperformed expectations.. and Kevin Ollie?  yeah OK.. 


talk about setting yourself up for "dissapointment".. how convenient.. 


at least you'll be "pleased" with the favorite.. we'll see how long that lasts.

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

@BiggieTKB  Dude, its gonna be Phil's guy.  And none of his proteges have had him as their boss when they coached other teams.  That is the X factor you are missing.  Spoelstra is Riley's guy but would he have thrived as a first time NBA coach if Riley wasn't mentoring him behind the scenes?

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@BiggieTKB Add No to bringing Tyron corbin back here...worked in player development under layden I believe.

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@BiggieTKB  Seeing as how PJ is new at his job maybe he actually should hire someone he knows/trusts.

Folks are saying MJ is too familiar with his players. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB It will be Phils guy period!  If Phil is going to fail, it will be with his guy doing it the way he knows how! 

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@dagawd  Nah. Pop deserved that all the way. If we want to be serious, the NBA owes Pop more than the three he has received (including this year). Look at what the Spurs do and keep doing.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@knicksgirl35  Lol yup. Beno told us "I've been playing for 10 years...I didn't just stop knowing how to play basketball." Lol

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

Didnt Beno and Metta ask out of this bad basketball situation? Not Mills cutting them for chemistry reasons.(Unless I am mistaken)

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@chudogz LOL I hear ya man but Beno has had 1 ok game int he playoffs so far.  It's a little early to be touting the Beno whistle. 

They still have an uphill battle!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@knicksgirl35  i liked it better when xmen thought you were a guy... 


now he just sucks up to you like he's got a shot at getting something.


no shots/

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  whoever Phil hires will be HIS GUY you Dolt!!


And they'll be running PHILS system

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rico @xmenreturnI think maybe the Secret Service may have held him for suspicion of nut smuggling!   Melo might have called it in.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@Sandro Guedes @dagawd  Hi Honey...I've missed you 

:-)

melo7
melo7

Idk I'm just saying I think he's a good coach I think he's a good balance of in your face and relaxed with his players I feel like kerr will be a good a coach but we need someone to keep all these egos in check

chudogz1
chudogz1

@xmenreturn. My point was that Felton sucked, Beno did decent, yet he was still strapped to the bench... He had a few decent games for us if I recall

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

@xmenreturn @chudogz  Eh, I think its more the fact that he wasn't any worse than Felton yet Felton played so many minutes this year even when he was visibly hurt.  So stupid.


Woodson made no adjustments to the fact that this year's team was not full of veterans with high character like Kidd, KT, Sheed, Camby.  Last year with those guys on the team, there was a clear pecking order and also the in their prime players like Melo, Chandler, JR, Felton…really looked up to them.  Shump and Cope were really the only young guys with not a lot of experience.  And even then we saw how Woodson was foolish and didn't use Cope enough against the pacers.  


This year we had Shump, Hardaway, Cole, Murry, Tyler.  A much larger percentage of the team were younger players.  And we didn't have any veterans with the winning and pedigree of Kidd and KT.  Outside of Melo and maybe Chandler, Woodson should not have had such a strict hierarchy of only playing veterans.  Sure, Felton was the starter last year, but its not like Prigs and Beno are rookies.  Prigs is a legend in Europe and Beno has been in the league and played as successfully as Felton.  PG position especially minutes should have been divided up more evenly among those 3 and minutes should have been rewarded based on results.  When Chandler went down there was no reason to play Bargnani so much over Cole.  Why?  Bc he was a former number 1 pick or made more money than Cole?  


With a team that has no real leaders and a mix of in their prime guys, unproven guys and young guys, the minutes should have been rewarded based on who was hustling and producing.  Murry got benched even though he brought energy and hustle bc he would make one mistake while JR and Felton made mistake after mistake.  That messes with the locker room especially when the team is losing.  If you are parked on the bench but you're young and the team is winning and the veterans are holding everyone accountable, then you may want more PT but you can't really complain or sulk.  When the team is losing and the veterans are not being held accountable for their mistakes, players are going to give up and sulk.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

The Suns were middle of the pack defensively despite their gaping hole in the middle (and you did say Dragic only plays one end of the floor, right?) They do need an interior defensive anchor.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@kingofny Yep somehow stupidity seem to follow you with each name you use.  

Ya gotta fix that first. lol

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@kingofny Change your name again?  YIKES!  LMAO!  You change your name more than Biggie change his rubber panties!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

I respect women! Only clowns like you and Biggie look for gifts! lol

I know he's hard to attract women with that crooked smile drooling out the window on the short bus!  That's not the bad boy some of them seek!    

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB LOL  I liked it better when you were correct on things!  If only there was a time!

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@BiggieTKB  Most guys on here are gentlemen. So are you (most of the time lol). Have a nice day. I gotta go create some art stuff.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB LOL I just go for what I think is correct.  Many of us listed Kerr even while you were still upgrading Woody chances to stay as coach weeks ago.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  leave it to you to take the prohibitive favorite.. 


lame lack of analysis and thought on your part.. not surprising though.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB  Yeah Ok!  There will be NO

Marc Jackson

Johnny Dawkins

Sydney Johnson

Billy Donovan (long shot)

So you're back at 20% again! LOL

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@knicksgirl35 He's got a death grip on them and won't let go! 

He's like Clive Bundy resisting the Govt!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@knicksgirl35 No way!  You're a fan,  KidKiyan is a groupie! 

rico
rico

@dagawd @BigChiefTriangle  I don't think Metta did. Beno's agent told the knicks it was not a good fit and if there was a trade avail they should make it.

Noone wanted to trade for beno so they cut him.  


If they really wanted him they could have shown him some love. They did not.


As for Metta, he had 9 knee procedures in the 1st two months of the season and in limited minutes played well. He was a model citizen on the outside but I suspect the FO did not want to chance his influence on guys like Iman and Tim Jr, so they sent him home, where he stays.