Sam SpiegelmanWhen your days as head coach of the Knicks are numbered, I guess you don’t need a rime or reason with what comments you make.
Such is the case with Mike Woodson, whose Knicks went from No. 2 seed in the East last season to missing the big dance altogether this year. One of the reasons why, he explained, is the absence of Andrea Bargnani.
Woodson suggests things could’ve been different this yr had Bargnani stayed healthy. Used the oft-referenced “big piece of the puzzle” line
— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) April 11, 2014
Right, the missing piece of the puzzle. Hmm.
Prior to getting injured, the Knicks’ offseason acquisition was shooting 44 percent from the floor and 28 percent from beyond the arc, despite chucking up 102 3-point attempts in 42 games. He was averaging 5.3 rebounds and 13.3 points, and was also a defensive liability.
A lot of things did not go the Knicks’ way. Carmelo Anthony had arguably his best season, but did not get support from his surrounding cast. Tyson Chandler battled injuries early on in the season and was in and out of the lineup. J.R. Smith was unable to perform on a consistent basis — and the same goes for the rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert.
Other offseason additions Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih are no longer even with the team, so clearly they did not pan out as anticipated.
For Woodson to blame the Knicks’ decline on Bargnani is just silly. It’s completely false, and a little bit laughable.
Better reasons for the downfall would be the front office’s poor offseason decisions, Woodson’s coaching or players not performing up to par. I guess the latter could include Bargnani, but his play had been on the way down the past few years in Toronto, so the Knicks should have realized it would be a project coaching him back to a high level.
Missing piece? Please