Harris DeckerFriday was interesting to say the least. The day started with a report that Phil Jackson had been offered the head coaching position with the Knicks. He turned that down. Then a report surfaced regarding Jackson and a position in the front office. What we knew at tip-off is the same we know now: Jackson is taking the weekend to think about his options and a possible return to New York.
Before the game, Mike Woodson had this to say about the situation: “I’m the coach of the Knicks.” An obvious, yet misguided statement. Sure he’s the coach, but what that quote leaves out are his feelings towards his general manager actively shopping for his replacement. As I stated yesterday, I believe that Steve Mills actions are in poor taste but the fact that Woodson is trying to act as the coach is a good sign for the team for the rest of this season.
From the start of the game, the Knicks were in complete control. Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter as the Knicks jumped out to a 17 point lead. It was a pretty smooth ride from there. Tyson Chandler had another 10+ rebound game, adding 16 points. In fact, every single player who got in the game for the Knicks except Jeremy Tyler scored at least 2 points.
The bench got a nice run in this game, spelling Anthony and the rest of the starting lineup during the 4th quarter. Earl Clark played an unimpressive 16 minutes scoring 3 points on 1 of 5 and Cole Aldrich scored 6 points on 3 of 5. Overall, it was an excellent night for the Knicks who have now won 2 straight games.
Still, the Knicks sit 4.5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot and the Phil Jackson rumors will continue to swirl over the weekend. As the Knicks enter the final stretch of the season, it will be interesting to see how much playing time Tyler and the other young players on the team continue to play.