Apparently people were surprised on Wednesday when New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni suddenly resigned, but something was obviously going to happen. The Knicks were 18-24, barely hanging on to a tie for the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference despite last season’s huge trade for Carmelo Anthony and the addition of Tyson Chandler. Also, there’s that Jeremy Lin kid who was playing pretty damn fantastic for a while. Factor in Anthony openly talking about his displeasure with D’Antoni and nobody should be surprised.
What was surprising, though, was the team’s response on Wednesday, when the Knicks completely pummeled the Portland Trail Blazers 121-79 under the direction of new coach Mike Woodson. And that was just the first cannon fire of Woodson’s new campaign. The second? Putting D’Antoni’s Harvard boy in the backseat.
On Thursday things got tougher: Woodson ran his first practice and began to make it clear to his players that this is now his team, at least for the rest of the season, and not Mike D’Antoni’s.
That almost certainly means it will be a Knicks team that will slow things down on offense and run an isolation-heavy system more suited to Carmelo Anthony’s ball-dominating inclinations.
“It’s everybody’s ball club,” Woodson said after practice Thursday, when he was asked if the Knicks were once again Anthony’s team, as they were before Jeremy Lin briefly took over. “I want everybody to feel comfortable. When I put a guy in the game, if he’s got a shot, I want him to feel comfortable about making that shot.”
(Via the NY Times)
Well I suppose this makes a lot more sense now…