Ben KopelmanI have been shrugging my shoulders all day.
What can you say about the last two weeks of New York Knicks basketball?
How does Mike Woodson keep his job? How does JR get another? How does Melo spend another 12 months trying to shake off this feeling that as good as he is, he’s just not good enough? How does Tyson regain what he’s so quickly lost?
How does this team bounce back when they went all in this year — signing Camby, Kidd, Martin, Sheed, and Prig — thinking they had the best shot at knocking off the seemingly unstoppable Miami Heat?
All that work and now we probably won’t even get the chance to find out. We won 54 games — that’s a LOT of wins — to set up a match-up that seems unlikely to come around.
Woodson has gone from part of the reason this team succeeded to the number one person most responsible for its Round 2 downfall.
His decisions over the last two games cannot be processed. Refusing to play Prig over a clearly over-matched Kidd is mind boggling.
Stubbornly sticking with an ice-cold JR Smith (ice cold for 6 games now, mind you) over Copeland or Novak is mind numbing. Abandoning the small ball lineup that got this team the 2 seed is infuriating, and to then double down every single post touch is just pure nonsense.
It was pee wee scheming, with zero sophistication to it, and it was easily countered by a smart Pacers team.
For whatever reason, I expect this team to play well and win Game 5 at home. Maybe they have finally been bitch-slapped hard enough to be woken up, and I just feel like Melo and Co. are going to win in front of the MSG faithful. From there, I don’t know.
It is hard to imagine this Knicks team winning each of the next three contests against a well-coached, disciplined Pacers squad that has flat out dominated the Knicks for 14 of the 16 quarters this series (first quarter of Game 1 and fourth quarter of Game the two exceptions).
Anything can happen — believe it or not JR used to hit all those ugly, bad shots and Woodson used to use his bench to the team’s advantage — but after the last two games, there’s little to do right now but make a face and shrug your shoulders.