Already having one of the most offensively-gifted minds in the game in D’Antoni, the Knicks’ second plan of action this summer was to appoint a defensive-minded assistant coach. That move came a few weeks ago when Mike Woodson was hired to the staff.
While some might see Woodson as a future replacement for D’Antoni, for the short term it can be viewed as a one-two punch much like the situation in Boston last year with Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank. A little help goes a long way.
Woodson, a former first-round pick of the Knicks, perfected his craft under the tutelage of Larry Brown. After winning a championship in 2004 with the Pistons, he took over as the head coach in Atlanta. Although he coached the Hawks to a top-10 defense in almost every season he was there, his failure to make adjustments in a 2010 playoff series against the Magic led to his demise.
Despite his failures in Atlanta, an assistant job will give him the capability to concentrate solely on his bread and butter: defense. Sure the Knicks don’t have the defensive pieces that the Hawks had, but with plenty of cap space and a new team attitude, Woodson might be just what the Knicks needed to put them over the top.
To be competitive on defense, two of the most important things to have are a tough mentality and quality coaching. Obviously, the Knicks were lacking in this department over the last few seasons. But with Donnie Walsh out the door, a new Knicks regime plans on being dedicated on this front. One thing for sure though is that the 2011-12 New York Knicks will be much better prepared for each and every game that they play. Combined with their prolific offense, they will once again be a force to be reckoned with.
What do you think?
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