The obvious rejoinder to that, of course, is, Well, he does for now. Carmelo Anthony has become the most powerful person in the Knicks organization, which means Woodson will have job security as long as he does everything Anthony requests of him. Of course, the reason Anthony likes Woodson so much—other than the fact that, by all accounts, Woodson is a likable, friendly chap—is because Woodson’s offensive scheme calls almost exclusively for isolation plays, which (lo!) happen to be Anthony’s specialty. Anthony put together some impressive performances in the postseason, as he should; he’s a freakishly talented offensive player.
But that’s not how you win championships; you win championships by working within an offensive system, trusting your teammates, and playing as a collective unit (the reasons the Spurs won twenty consecutive games, not to mention four championships). Watching the Knicks play offense in the playoffs was often excruciating. It was mostly Anthony dribbling around the perimeter as his teammates stood around waiting for him to shoot his way out of increasingly impossible situations.
People quickly dismiss Game 2 last year as an anomaly and actually blame Melo for passing the ball facing a 5 Celtics running at him offering a shot to Jared Jeffries. That was actually a designed play that took an all-time great defensive play by an all-time great defender to stop a lay up. Melo wanted the spotlight that Lebron didn’t and here’s the result.
But here’s the reality. Melo’s backcourt game 2 was in pieces Toney Douglas, Anthony Carter, Bill Walker and Landry Fields. Now that’s a supporting cast. I know, I know, that’s his fault because he forced the trade that the owner agreed to. His fault, right? He also was playing without a guy who yolked his back on a pre game dunk and without the PG who led them to victory in South Beach with big shots (I think they called him that) and who stood with him in battling the Lakers for a finals appearance just a few years before.
I know, I know that was last year. This year? Melo had to shoot in Iso situations because Tyson Chandler had the flu and Iman Shumpert shattered his knee. And when does Landry Fields get some blame for constant disappearing acts? Everyone loves Lin, says he’s All-Star material, weren’t people saying the same thing about Fields midway during last year? That’s right, HE can’t play with MELO. Poor guy. Try finding a position and learn to spot shoot. Has there ever been a worse backcourt playoff combo than Mike Bibby and Fields?
Can we wait until the D’Antoni players are replaced with iso-centric types that Melo is comfortable with? That patience was allotted to D’Antoni, thus it needs to be granted to Anthony.
This is Melo’s team, but it is not his franchise. In fact, I’m told, the organization has him on watch based on the D’Antoni situation that came across as the player not playing hard for the sideline commander. His endorsement of Woodson needs to be put into perspective. Imagine if he didn’t sign off on Woodson? Forget it. He’d be crucified.
And as far as Coach Woodson we know why he’s here. 18-6 is important but if you forget about Game 2 in Boston as it relates to Melo then 18-6 gets erased too. Can’t have it both ways. Woodson is here because the owner hates the media and Jackson doesn’t hate them as much. He’s not a yes man. It’s Woodson’s job, not Melo’s, to ensure Lin fits and stays healthy for 82 plus games. If Lin regresses it will automatically be Melo’s fault in the media, but that’s part of the gig- one that Lebron wisely sidestepped.