Mike Woodson needs to be out as the Knicks head coach. The New York Knicks have clearly struggled through the first four games of the season. Though it's still very early in the season and some of the concerns are premature, one problem that is for real is their coach.
With the Knicks sitting at 1-3 and coming off a brutal loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, it was already looking ugly. When news came out the next day that Tyson Chandler would miss four to six weeks, the Knicks fans’ anger turned to panic. Already sporting one of the most hard-to-watch defenses in the league, it literally pains me to imagine them without their anchor.
Woodson’s defensive and offensive schemes have been so bad in his tenure with the Knicks that it amazes me he’s still their coach. But now that Chandler is out, it will be up to Woodson to set up a defense that is able to compete without Tyson. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening.
A huge issue that is seen when watching the Knicks is their rotations on defense. While you can’t blame it all on Woodson for their slow rotations, he needs to be able to adjust. Their constant, unnecessary double-teaming has consistently killed them.
When the Knicks traveled to Chicago the other night to take on the Bulls, there were two perfect examples of the double-teaming issues. Seen at the 1:00 minute mark in this video, Derrick Rose buries back-to-back threes off two pointless double-teams. The fact that they actually did the same exact thing on defense the next possession after the first three is mind-boggling to me. Woodson cannot allow this type of lazy defense and needs to demand more out of his team if he wants to be successful.
There are a few things that really just haven’t made sense with Woodson. It’s clear if you watch the Knicks that their small lineup works far better than their big lineup. There’s no denying it. No statistic can even argue for starting Andrea Bargnani instead of Pablo Prigioni, yet we keep seeing it. The Knicks are 1-0 when starting Pablo over Bargnani and 0-3 when placing Bargnani in for Prigioni.
With Chandler now out, the Knicks will revert back to their small lineup, with Bargnani promptly moving to the 5. Hopefully this will let Woodson really see how effective the small lineup is.
Their stagnant offense over the past year has been another serious problem. They struggle to move the ball and always seem to end up watching 'Melo take multiple contested jumpers instead of passing around to find an open man. Their isolation-based offense is the reason they were last in the league in assists per game last year and why they will certainly be flirting with that ranking again this year.
It’s something that makes the San Anotnio Spurs, last year’s leader in assists per game, so great to watch. If you like basketball, you have to love watching San Antonio play. Its ball movement and offensive-flow is one of the things that make Gregg Popovich one of the best coaches in the league. Woodson and the Knicks would benefit greatly from taking a page out of San Antonio’s playbook. The ball movement shown by that team is something the Knicks need to implement into their offense.
The Knicks need more ball movement, they need better rotations on defense, and they need a new coach. Am I saying Mike Woodson is a bad coach? Not necessarily. Am I saying Mike Woodson is a bad coach for this team? Absolutely.
The Knicks must start winning games and it has to happen now. If they want to contend for a championship, changes in the way they play offense and defense are the only way to make it happen. With things the way they are now, the Knicks won't contend until Woodson is gone.