Improbable as it seems, Woodson is–right now anyway–drawing up yet another game plan. Even he must be wondering what makes Knicks owner Jim Dolan do what he does–and doesn’t.
The New York Knicks just lost their seventh game in a row. This is an opening sentence that could have been written in 2014 (as of last night), 2013, 2012 (when they finally broke their own NBA-record 13-game playoff losing streak), 2011 (just six?), 2010 (eight in a row) and maybe further back–we got tired of looking. But not as tired as the Knicks look nightly. Yet their coach, the dedicated basketball lifer Mike Woodson, carries on. It’s hard to know what owner Jim Dolan thinks or will do about all this losing–hard to know without asking Isiah Thomas anyway–but it’s certain Woodson can’t last. Can he? Woodson’s face on the sideline contorts into more interesting positions than any of the Knicks shooting guards. And the spacing between what Coach Woodson hopes to see and what actually happens on the floor is exactly the kind of spacing the Spurs, say, consistently employ in their offensive sets. At this point Woodson’s firing could reasonably be seen as euthanasia.
The latest new New York Knicks nadir came courtesy of the Detroit Pistons and Andre Drummond, who decided to singlehandedly end all the speculation about whether the Knicks effort is to blame. Sure there are more talented teams than New York, but when one player gets 26 rebounds against you including seven offensive boards, you ain’t trying that hard. Take nothing away from the beautiful aggression of Mr. Drummond, but rebounds are quite literally up for grabs and the hustle players get more of them. Each of Drummond’s boards was met with a slightly altered stroke of exasperation on the extraordinary canvas of despair that is Mike Woodson’s face. Help him out, Mr. Dolan. Let Mike Woodson go home and rest and not think about JR Smith anymore.