Woodson says he’s ‘up for the task’

Adam Zagoria

Despite the Knicks 5-14 record and a 41-point loss to the rival Boston Celtics on Sunday, Mike Woodson insists he’s still the right man to coach the team.

“For me, it has kind of been a work in progress,” Woodson said Monday at practice. “I think I am up for the task.”

Amazingly, the Knicks are only 3 1/2 games back of the first-place Celtics despite their record. They will get Tyson Chandler back sometime relatively soon, and that has Woodson optimistic going forward.

“When Tyson gets back, then Tyson will go into the starting role and Kenyon [Martin] will anchor the second team,” Woodson said. “I am desperately trying to get to those nine to 10 guys if I can.”

USATSI_7588360_110579513_lowresIf the blowout loss to the Celtics had been the Knicks’ 10th straight loss following their recent nine-game skid, it might well have been Woodson’s last as coach.

Despite coming after two wins by a combined 78 points, the Celtics loss underscored the vast differences between the two franchises going forward.

Boston has a young, energetic coach in Brad Stevens who got Butler — Butler! — to two Finals Fours and now has a Rajon Rondo-less Celtics team in first place.

Despite lacking superstar talent, the Celtics moved the ball on Sunday and got lots of good looks, while the Knicks reverted to a stagnant offense focusing on iso-Melo. The two teams meet again Friday in Boston.

Unlike the Knicks, who have no first-round draft pick in the loaded 2014 Draft, the Celtics have two first-round picks. They actually have nine first-round picks over the next five years.

On top of that, the Celtics have Rondo as a major trade chip should they decide to deal him before his contract expires following the 2014-15 season.

Anthony is trying to recruit Rondo to come to New York, but it’s a legitimate question at this point as to which franchise — New York or Boston — is closer to a title.

Still, despite the two teams seemingly going in opposite directions, Woodson is focusing on the positive.

“Like I mentioned three weeks ago, nobody is running away with this division,” Woodson said. “We still got an opportunity to move up and win the Atlantic. It’s still wide open, I think. I just got to get our players believing and playing at a high level.”


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.

80 comments
NYJETSFAN com (NYK)
NYJETSFAN com (NYK)

Defensive minded coaches SUCK in  a game thats predicated on scoring. Bottom line.

Leor Reginiano
Leor Reginiano

So the Raptors waived Dj Augustine... Worth a shot? C smith will have to be waived of course... Which is a good thing of course

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

"Adam Silver said competition committee will look at whether divisions have outlived usefulness.”


Uh-oh.  Woody might have to kill all that "but we won our division" brag talk in a few years ....

rgm891
rgm891

The only challenge Mike Woodson is up to is beating Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest. He will train with Raymond Felton.

ds2488
ds2488

This talk about nobody running away with the division angers me to no end.  It's loser talk for a team looking for moral victories when they can't get actual ones.  For a team that won 50+ games last year and openly talked of an NBA championship being a goal, a 5-14 record is simply unacceptable, no matter how bad your division is.


We're talking about winning the division when we should be talking about winning a game.  We're talking about winning the division when, record-wise, we are one of the bottom 3 teams in the entire NBA.  SMH.  


What a terrible season this has been so far.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

The hole we are in is deep, steep deep. With a 4-15 start this is what we need to achieve the following 82 game finishes.


40-23 to get to 44-38

37-26 to get to 41-41

34-29 to get to 38-44

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

By the way, guys like Lowry and/or Amir Johnson should have been Knicks targets from the beginning.  PG and backup big were our most pressing needs.  Bargnani addressed neither need.  Now that our 2016 pick is out of the mix, we have limited options for addressing those other issues.


By the way, 76ers young backup PG Tony Wroten (6'6") was traded for a 2nd-round draft pick.  Why can't the Knicks get in on something like that?!?

chrisb
chrisb

I saw the first 3 possessions of the Boston game , there was no movement, no defense. You call a timeout and get in their grills right away, go right to you bench with 3 to 5 new players, find out who wants to play and put them in. You cannot let a rookie coach come in your house and embarrass you coach, and you did. Your players played like dogs, and you let them. You say I make accountability a priority but you never practice it sans your 2 whipping boys Shump and Hardaway. That is a characteristic of a bad coach, and you demonstrate that every time you step out there.   

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

Should I post here, or wait until they repost this thread?

chrisb
chrisb

Been reading this post, why are we talking about other team draft picks. We have a team that is in disarray , players that are tanking, a coach  that is clueless , a contract that is killing our ability to  make moves, and owner that has sold the rights of this team to an entertainment company, the potential loss of our best player, and your talking about other teams draft choices. That makes you dumber then this coach. There were 2 teams Sunday at 12. One team isoed on Bargs and picked Ray every time down, and another that stuck to his script and stood there not knowing what adjustments to make. This is what reality is. Dumb management, dumber coach, and awful pg

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

Is it the coach or the talent, this team is very flawed and has a bad coach, they lack basketball IQ with a coach who doesn't hold his players accountable.  We have a superstar that doesn't make his team better, and calls a 41 point an embarrassment while the rest of the team says they just missed shots.  We have an owner that knows nothing about basketball, and a gm who was around with Isiah.  Our team is run by a sports agency, and we've gone 40 years without a title..and we should rebuild, but have no draft picks, and zero cap space..

knickster
knickster

Yes, Woody is "up FOR the task", but he is NOT "up TO the task". Fire him.

Max Denby
Max Denby

The phrase is "up TO the task" smh woody

chrisb
chrisb

@Leor Reginiano The question is why did this huge trade go down, and we are floundering and do nada. Wake up Mills we stink

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@ds2488 Exactly. I'm so tired of hearing about how bad the east/division is...what does that have to do with how we're playing? There is NO consistency with this team. There is nothing we can hang our hat on and say we do really well other than taking care of the basketball and thank God we can do that. There is no accountability. There is no game plan. There is no identity. I don't even think we scout the other team because there are things we do that just screams "we had no idea he could shoot the ball that well". 


Woodson keeps saying, "I don't know..it's my job to figure it out." When will he know? Because if he doesn't figure it out, then neither will this team. I know we are not whole... but I don't see us doing anything to try to make up for this...it's like we're biding our time until Tyson comes back so he can fix the Knicks. That is a ridiculous amount of pressure to put on one man who is coming from a freaking broken leg. Smh. He will not be back within 4-6 weeks; it will be longer. He will not come back in game condition. The amount of pressure our defense puts on him is crazy. How far will we have fallen by then? 


My last concern: some of these players talk so much about how it is not Woodson, it's the players, we have to play harder, we have to play with effort, we like Woodson. Well, if they like him so much, why can't they go out there and play with effort???  Why don't they play hard for him?? Why has EFFORT been such a major concern 19 games into the season?? The excuses are ridiculous. 





BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@ds2488 Amen.  How about focus on the PROCESS, ask WHY you are losing games, and HOW you can fix things?  I hear no such discussion from Woodson, other than the "make shots" mantra, which has infiltrated the lockerroom, based on comments from Shumpert and Felton (after losing by 41 #$%ing points!) 


After I heard Woodson state that he thought last year's pick & roll defense was pretty good (a complete lie, when film and statistics are examined), he had fully established himself in "delusional" category.

ds2488
ds2488

@DolanitisDr I don't think there is any plan in place.  We continue to waste a roster spot on Chris Smith.  We have Toure and Aldrich rotting away on the bench while they can help address problem areas and positions of need.


It's shameful, but typical Dolan-esque behavior.  I'm not even sure who is running things anymore.  Is it Mills?  Is it Dolan?  Is it CAA?


Say what you want about Grunwald and Donnie Walsh, but at least they were basketball guys with actual basketball plans that they stuck to for better or worse.  And the team was much better off for having the both of them.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

You have to have a second pick in order to use it.


2014 pick for Camby

2014 OKC (Brewer) pick for Bargnani

2015 pick for Camby

2016 pick for Felton

2017 pick for Bargnani

ds2488
ds2488

@chrisb It's been the same story all season (and last years playoffs).  Very poor coaching all- around.  No movement, no defense, no adjustments.  Like Dantoni, Woody has his favorites that he doesn't treat equally and rarely yells at, while holding a grudge for some reason against Shump.


JR and Ray have been brutally awful yet you wouldn't know it from their minutes.


No gameplan and no offensive sets.  Constant miscommunications on defense.


You gotta think all these issues are easily fixable for a remotely competent NBA coach.  Unfortunately Woody has not been nearly that this season.  And now the effort seems to be mostly missing at worst, entirely inconsistent from game to game at best.  It seems to me very much like a coach who has lost the team.

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

I remember a game back when JVG was coaching.  He pulled all 5 starters in the first quarter just to prove a point. 

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@chrisb Nothing new there. Personally, I'm done pointing out the obvious flaws all over this ball club (exactly the ones you menioned, plus a couple hundred more).

Now, I'll just go game to game, see what happens, keep pointing the mistakes they will continue to make on a nightly basis because we have a coach who doesn't know the term "adjustments".

Until shake ups are made, we will keep seeing the same brand of amateur basketball.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@chrisb The roster is flawed (no legit PG), but Woody got schooled by a rookie head coach.  Period.

knickster
knickster

@Seth Nadler


We do NOT have any "superstars". Melo is a specialist, not a superstar. A great deal of our team's "problems" is fans' unrealistic expectations. Look at our players the way they RALLY are and you will see how bad the team REALLY is.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@ds2488 @DolanitisDr Yes, I am no fan of Grunwald nor Walsh but I do agree - the team was better the further away Dolan stayed.  I continually forget that Toure Murry even exists because Woody wouldn't even give him burn until LATE in yesterday's 40 point blowout (Yes, JR SMITH WAS  STILL GETTING 4th QUARTER MINUTES SMDH.

melom7
melom7

@NYKnickerBocker Yup, it was in D.C...I remember watching that game, they were the Washington Bullets back then.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@NYKnickerBocker I asked for that yesterday. Woodson doesn't have the testicular fortitude to do this.

No starter deserved to play.

thatsagoodpoint
thatsagoodpoint

Fine. I'll give it 20 games to see if I like it or not. No promises. 

chrisb
chrisb

@OLD_KNICK I'm already working. My kids play D. We had a scrimmage and they didn't give up any points in 30 minutes of play. But thanks.

chrisb
chrisb

@DolanitisDr @chrisb Right on this roster is flawed, step 1 is a pg, step 1 AA is a coach to straighten out the BS going around with attitudes. Trade their collective azzes to the coldest cities in the league, and let the message get around, screw around end up freezing

chrisb
chrisb

@knickster @Seth Nadler Melo has his own sneakers, LeBron has his own sneakers, Durrant has his own sneakers, Rose has his own sneakers, Kobe has his own sneakers. Short list fool.

chrisb
chrisb

@BiggieSmalls Thats right, both gram correct with different meanings, the question might be, did Woody have a clue as to which  meaning he was making reference to? IMO he has no idea on what is wrong, how to fix it, and further more has no idea how even to use the players he has effectively . Start with getting rid of him and hiring a guy that can at least speak English

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@BiggieSmalls Lmao.  A Coach Woody supporter to the death!


(I root for the Knicks)

chrisb
chrisb

@DolanitisDr Murry gets into the game at exactly 6:43 left to play no matter the blowout. Woody has his set rotoation and all the times worked out for every game , and it is almost exactly the same. Talk about creativity

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

So you remember a different game.  He must have also done that with Houston then.  I saw him pull the Knicks starters.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@OLD_KNICK The roster is flawed, no doubt, but it isn't flawed to the point of playing lottery type ball every night.

That's on the coach and palyers who can't find motivation.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@xmenreturn Funny he never mentions that the injury-depleted Nets actually have a better record than the Knicks.  Oh well, details ....


Also funny - the Bargnani trade was supposed to be an improvement, yet the team has been worse both defensively AND offensively.  The defensive side makes sense (we know Bargnani is a negative defender and Chandler is out), but what about the offensive side of the ball?!?

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Yes, I always admit what I said and also admit that I surely don't mind and hope I'm wrong about them.


I want the Knicks to win a ring not the Nets.  


Yet, I stand my my prediction that the Nets will make noise in the playoffs. I knew the regular seaosn would be tough for them and I stated so but even I didn't know they their starting unit would look this bad.


As for our Knicks, you were the main one drooling us about how we are so much better than that we would win more than the 54 games we won last year.


You stated Woody would adjust and that by getting rid of one trick ponies like Cope and Novak we would thrive. 


In order words, you got unto a high podium and screamed that you are delusional and ree-tarded.  That I agree!



xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Dude, you misrepresent what you stated just a few months ago for ALL to see.  You must be a ree-tarded lawyer or maybe you just slept at a Holiday Inn every night.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

LMAO!  Is that you Biggie Rewrite?  You know your boy Biggie was all for Pringles early on.  Stop protecting him dude.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

LOL Yep, We're Knicks fan and he thinks it's okay for our Knicks to suck so as long as the Nets suck too.

I told everyone that Biggie never admits tomaking big mistakes.  He's a Biggie Fraud! 

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@xmenreturn I guess that's why Biggie brings up Jason Kidd and the Nets every other thread?  Talking Knicks is just too depressing?

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Yep, he did the same thing with Pringles until it was getting really really bad and then he flipped to the other side. 


Biggie Helmet is a true ree-tard!