If Anyone Didn't Notice Already: The Knicks Are a Distaster
On Thursday, Mike Woodson just so happened to publicize his not so suprising thoughts about his team -- the New York Knicks -- on the The Stephen A Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show.
He specifically said that "This year has been, for me, it's been kind of a disaster from a coaching standpoint in trying to get players to compete and play at a high level."
This news isn't at all startling, especially if you're a NBA fan.
The Knicks are by far one of the worst NBA teams this year. There is absolutely no cohesiveness. Carmelo Anthony is one of the most prolific scorers ever to grace our presence, but he is the true definition of a ball hog. There is no way chemistry can develop when you have four players standing around, watching Carmelo dribble drive and/or launch an ill-timed three-pointer or off-balance jumpshot. The offensive schemes are mediocre at best, and they don't rebound at all except for Tyson Chandler, who can certainly manage more than 8.7 rebounds per game.
Woodson is an 'effort' guy. He preaches discipline, defense, and hustle. The Knicks aren't exhibiting any of what Woodson desires, and honestly, it's not his fault. As a head coach, you can only do so much before you exhaust yourself. You need open-minded, receptive, unselfish, and industrious players to be successful. Yes, it's beneficial to possess athletic supermen, but if you don't tap into their potential and channel it accordingly, it's fruitless.
JR Smith is as selfish and Anthony and more childlike than any other professional athlete I watch. He only exerts effort if there's some type of intrinsic reward tied to his performance. Raymond Felton is sluggish at times and should be averaging a lot more than five assists per game. Andrea Bargnani is a solid complementary player but shouldn't be a starter. He's a big who's able to light it up, but his defense is suspect and his ability to rebound is almost laughable for someone his size.
The Knicks, as a unit, are on the opposite end of the stick. Woodson desires resilience and a will to compete, but his team acts as if they're more worried about stats and/or money than doing whatever it takes to win.
The silver-lining in all of this?
The Knicks are only two games out of the eighth and final spot for the Eastern Conference playoffs. It's a true testament to how pathetic the East is, but the Knicks still have the opportunity to right the ship. However, I don't foresee that happening.
This team just can't be coached. Woodson is better off combing the local high schools to find athletes willing to compete at a high level, because this team can't and won't produce anything more than possibly a couple of short-lived highlights every year.
Sorry Carmelo. Your 62-point performance at the Garden wasn't that impressive to me.