Mike Woodson: Extension in the Works with New York Knicks, but at What Cost?
The New York Knicks are in the process of drawing up a contract extension that would keep Mike Woodson in New York "for the foreseeable future," per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Considering this particular head coach and the difficulties the Knicks have seen this season, that's a slightly worrisome notion.
Woodson may be a perfectly good coach, and the work he's done to close out New York's season—in spite of considerable complication via injury, no less—has been truly impressive. But I wonder if we might have already seen the height of Woodson's coaching tenure with this Knicks core, as a clean bill of health will undoubtedly bring a slew of problems that stretch beyond his demonstrated level of ingenuity.
Figuring out how to balance a roster with this kind of defensive deficit, offensive obstruction and contractual logjam will take incredible finesse, and though Woodson has done well to nudge this team in the right direction defensively, his team's most successful offensive stretches have been, predictably, isolation dependent.
The Knicks' long-term problems won't be solved by something as simple as moving Carmelo Anthony to power forward; Amar'e Stoudemire's health and salary make him almost completely untradeable at this point. If New York is going to get the most out of the resources available, the offensive schemes will need to be a bit more nuanced and elegant in order to maximize the use of skill and space.
Woodson's offense characteristically allows its best player to put up strong numbers, but the flow and function beyond that single star is often lacking.
The Knicks are about to invest heavily in a coach who still hasn't managed to adequately address the issue of his top scorer being fronted in the post. Considering that glaring schematic deficit, is it really so wise of New York to trust Woodson going forward?
Is getting more out of a team on the defensive end—a fact which guys like Anthony readily acknowledge was a product of previously lackluster effort, which may yet wane again once Woodson settles in—really worth the potential for long term offensive stagnation and frustration?
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