Coach Woody's doormat this time around was point guard Beno Udrih, whom he essentially blamed for Smith's late-game blunder Friday night against the Houston Rockets.
"The bottom line is you look at his shot, but did Beno have to throw him the ball?" Woodson said, per the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. "You gotta look at that."
Look at Woodson, too, who's essentially defending the indefensible.
With the game in Houston tied, Udrih missed a panic three from the right corner. Tyson Chandler grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it back out to Udrih, who immediately swung a pass to the wide-open Smith.
Naturally, Smith let 'er rip from deep. But he missed. Blame Udrih.
Udrih went on to foul Aaron Brooks while chasing a loose ball, giving him two free throws and Houston the lead. New York was unable to convert on its last possession and lost the game.
Afterward, Smith took responsibility for his own blunder, admitting he lost track of the score.
"Honestly I thought we were down two when I shot the ball," Smith said, per The Associated Press (via ESPN).
Unrelated: I stubbed my toe six weeks ago.
That's how ridiculous this sounds, and it wasn't any more sensible when Woodson tried to clarify his comments before New York's win over the Dallas Mavericks, via Isola:
I want to clear up something, too, with this Beno thing that was written today. Everybody is held accountable. I wasn’t pointing the fingers at Beno about anything. I just think when you’re trying to win games and coming down the stretch everybody has got to be held accountable in terms of what they do. So I mean, he had the ball, he probably should have held the ball.
In that situation, Udrih should have held onto the ball and reset the Knicks offense, but Smith also should have known the score.
How do you forget something like that with under 30 seconds remaining and your team desperate for a win? That much is on "Swish," and Swish alone. You cannot have that kind of mental lapse.
Try telling that to Woodson, though. He's not one to hold Smith accountable—ever. It's actually surprising he didn't blame Smith's miss on Udrih's initial miss.
"If Beno knocks down that three, J.R. isn't put in that situation," Woodson could have said. "You know, in a spot where he actually had to think. J.R. isn't paid to think. He's paid to shoot. And miss."
While insane, that sounds pretty much par for the course.
Never mind that Smith was shooting 3-of-12 from the floor at the time. Forget that he would've been better served feeding a hotter hand. This one's on Udrih.
Everything else is on Udrih, too.
New York's 21 other losses? Udrih's fault. Smith's 34.8 percent season clip? All Udrih.
Woodson's shoddy mani-pedi? Yep, that's on Udrih, too.
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