|This is only Woodson's second full season at the helm of the Knicks, and it's going horribly|
The New York Knicks finished with a solid 54-28 record last season, reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals before falling to the Indiana Pacers in six games. Almost universally, former Hawks' coach Mike Woodson's first campaign in The Big Apple was viewed as a success. The conference semifinals were about as far as the Knicks were expected to go in the playoffs, especially with the Miami Heat and Pacers to contend with.
The success experienced by New York last year was fleeting, though, as it certainly did not carry over into this one like many people thought it would.
The Knicks started the season 1-3, and lost center Tyson Chandler (knee) to an injury in just their fourth game, severely hurting their chances of winning early on. That unfortunate occurrence was completely unavoidable and only made Woodson's job harder, and now it may be jeopardizing it.
Chandler still has not returned to action and the Knicks still have not started to win, as they currently sit at 7-17 and 13th place in the Eastern Conference, far from their expected standings spot from the preseason.
Now, key reserve point guard Pablo Prigioni is out two weeks with a fractured toe, leaving the team's depth at the position extremely thin with only Beno Udrih and rookie Toure' Murry healthy (starter Raymond Felton is out with a hamstring injury).
To make matters worse, in the game Prigioni hurt himself in, the Knicks blew a late lead, allowing the Wizards -- on the strength of a Bradley Beal driving layup -- to come back and eventually win. New York had a chance to regain control of the lead as regulation ran out, but Woodson chose not to call a timeout to set up a final play. Consequently, Carmelo Anthony had to force up an incredibly weak last-second heave which was not even a little close to be a saving grace for the Knicks.
Woodson was skewered for letting his team run such a disorganized and ineffective last play in a futile attempt to salvage a win.
The loss, widely blamed on Woodson even though he was not the one that allowed the Wizards to hit 54 percent of their shots, was just the latest in a line of recent and embarrassing failures by the Knicks, who notably lost by 41 points to the Boston Celtics a little over a week ago.
The defeat at the hands of the Wizards is just another point on the long line of brutal setbacks the Knicks, and Mike Woodson, have already suffered so far in this young season.
Ownership is not happy about it, the fans are not happy about it, the players are not happy about it and the coaching staff is not happy about it. If this sort of play keeps up, then it is certain that something is going to change.
In the NBA, you cannot fire all the players so normally the head coach -- the likely lightning rod for all criticisms surrounding teams -- is the one to go. It remains to be seen what is going to happen with the Knicks and Woodson, but the coach's seat is definitely warming up even as the New York area gets colder for the holidays.
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