There is an irony to the grumbling, of course, and Mike Woodson understands it better than anyone. If it’s too simplistic to say that changing coaches can automatically change a team’s fortunes … well, we’ve seen different in our town.
We’ve seen the Nets get a convention-style bounce just before the New Year when Avery Johnson’s high-pitched voice was replaced by P.J. Carlesimo’s chalkboard rasp, when suddenly the Nets stopped slipping on banana peels.
And, of course, we saw the Knicks last year.
We saw Woodson inherit an 18-24 mess of dysfunction exactly one year ago tomorrow. And we saw the Knicks revamp themselves, almost immediately: a 42-point blowout win over Portland in the first game of the Woodson Era, an 18-6 finish, an 18-5 start to this season, a 55-27 record across his first 82 games.
Hard to argue with that kind of evidence.
Except now, Woodson is the defendant in whatever case antsy Knicks fans want to present before the court of public opinion. There is nothing to indicate Woodson is coaching for his job, other than the logical conclusion the kind of performance his team turned in Monday night in the first game of this five-game Western swing is the kind of evidence that, if it bleeds too long, turns a coach from secure to sketchy in record time.
And Woodson knows it.
More important, he acknowledges it. He realizes better than anyone the foundational frustration of anyone who cares about the Knicks: They are a different team now than they were when they started the season 18-5. Much different. Noticeably different. Troublingly different.
Time running out for Woody to turn around his Knicks
New York Post | Mar 13