Mike Woodson wanted to keep Knicks’ core group together despite struggles

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Addressing the media in his first return to the Big Apple as a Clippers’ assistant since being fired as Knicks head coach, Mike Woodson briefly pondered what it would be like if he were still in town.

If Woodson were still head coach of the Knicks, he said he would have likely pushed to keep Tyson Chandler and other members of the core group that won 54 games, just two seasons ago, together. In addition to Chandler, this likely would have meant Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and perhaps Pablo Prigioni as well.

Mike WoodsonWhen taking the team’s current direction under Phil Jackson into consideration, even the Chandler trade was a risky one. The center’s contract was an expiring pact, but New York opted to deal it for a seemingly proven point guard in Jose Calderon, and three younger assets in Shane Larkin, rookie Cleanthony Early, and (the draft rights to) D-Leaguer Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Following some other related moves, that’s basically what the deal came down to.

The Knicks took a gamble on Calderon, hoping that the veteran would have provided the team with a steady floor general alongside Carmelo Anthony heading into this summer’s free agency. Amid his latest injury and some struggles in the triangle offense, he obviously hasn’t lived up to expectations and now his contract seems more  like a burden, instead of an asset, heading into the summer. While Larkin has shown some promise, and it was nice for the Knicks to get into last summer’s NBA Draft, neither he or Early are remarkably ground-breaking youngsters whose talent-level could not acquired otherwise.

Looking back, perhaps New York would have been better off keeping Chandler and simply letting his contract expire, even if he were in fact one to air out the team’s dirty laundry in the locker room. After all, things couldn’t have possibly been any worse than they are now, had the center remained in town.  To read more of this story, click here

Herb Williams to coach Liberty

Hamilton: Doc Rivers believes Knicks can turn things around ‘quickly’

Moke Hamilton, NBA Analyst

When Doc Rivers brought his Los Angeles Clippers into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night and took a gaze at Derek Fisher, Rivers probably saw a little bit of himself in the rookie head coach.

Derek FIsher announced as CoachAfter helping to pull off the biggest single-season turnaround in NBA history, Rivers knows a thing or two about what the Knicks are going through. To Fisher and Phil Jackson, he offered perspective.

“They need to just hang in there,” Rivers told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog. “It can turn around quickly.”

For Jackson, the $60 million question is “How?”

It may seem like eons ago, but Rivers and Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge once wondered the same thing.

It was back in 2007 when the Boston Celtics endured one of their worst seasons in franchise history. The team ended the season with the second worst record in the league at 24-58, but instead of there being a beaming light at the end of the tunnel, the Celtics emerged into continued darkness.

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Game Recap: Clippers 111 — Knicks 80

Recap: The Clippers led 63-33 at halftime as the Knicks lost for the ninth time in their last 11 at the Garden.

Need to Know: Los Angeles won its fifth in a row and beat the Knicks for the sixth straight time. The Clippers held the Knicks to 80 or under for the fourth time in that span.

Austin Rivers led six Clippers in double figures with 21 points. He was 9-for-10 from the field; DeAndre Jordan (14) was 7-for-7. J.J. Redick (17) was 7-for-11 as Los Angeles shot 56.4 percent.

The Knicks have scored fewer than 90 points in 31 games this season, the most such games in a single season by the franchise since 2003-04 (33).

Cleanthony Early had a career-high 18 points.

The Knicks had five assists and 14 turnovers by halftime. . The Clipper’ Chris Paul (11 points) had 16 assists, nine in the first quarter.

Links: AP recap | Box Score

What’s Next: The Knicks host Boston Friday (7:30 p.m.)

Shved out 2-3 weeks with rib injury

Knicks guard Alexey Shved has an incomplete rib fracture and will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks (Knicks, March 25).

The Knicks have 10 more games left after Wednesday’s contest against the Clippers and end the season April 15, making it doubtful if Shved will return this season.

Shved, who entered the league in 2012 with Minnesota, is with his third team this season (Rockets, 76ers). He averaged 14.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 16 games (nine starts).

Tonight’s Game: Knicks vs. Clippers

The Knicks host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on MSG and ESPN New York.

Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Andrea Bargnani, Alexey Shved and Langston Galloway are expected to start.

Recent Meeting

December 31, 2014 – New York struggled from the field shooting .381 (32-84) and they were unable to keep up with the high-flying LA Clippers en route to a 99-78 loss at the STAPLES Center. Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 19 points and five rebounds over 29 minutes. JJ Redick posted 20 points and four rebounds for the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan added 12 points and 14 rebounds.