Mar 16, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT
When Mike Woodson was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, his offense was nicknamed “iso Joe” for all the times Joe Johnson was given the ball in isolation. Josh Smith got to shoot a lot of jumpers that way, too.
That is music to Carmelo Anthony’s ears.
Mike Woodson knows what side his bread is buttered on, he knows that the favorite star of owner James Dolan chaffed in Mike D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll offense. And he’s going to give ‘Melo the rock. A lot. In isolation, jut like ‘Melo wants. From Howard Beck at the New York Times.
But then he spoke more bluntly, saying that he wanted everybody to know that when “I’ve got to get a big shot, I’m going to go to Melo and Amar’e and guys that have done it,” a reference to Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
“A lot of these guys are young,” Woodson said in reference to their teammates. “They’re still trying to figure it out.”
You can also read that this way: “I’m taking the ball out of Jeremy Lin’s hands when it matters most.”
(Woodson) prefers veterans to rookies. He wants the offense to run through his stars. He will run most of his plays for Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. None of this bodes well for Lin.
“Woody’s inclination would not be to play him,” said a person who has worked with Woodson.
Linsanity was a perfect storm. The Knicks desperately needed a pick-and-roll point guard to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Knicks management kept trading those guys away to get other pieces that didn’t really fit D’Antoni’s system. This season the Knicks were left with Toney Douglas as the point guard, but that’s not his fit, not in that system.
Then along comes Lin and his classic point guard skills. He played in a stretch of games against bad teams. But you started to see what the free wheeling D’Antoni offense can look like when you run it as designed.
Then Stoudemire and Anthony returned to the lineup, pushed the shooters to the side, mucked up the spacing on the floor and the Knicks lost six in a row. It’s more than just that — the Knicks aren’t a good team and the schedule got tough — but things got ugly.
So D’Antoni pushed to trade Anthony for a guy who would fit his system and when that didn’t work, he was out the door.
And Linsanity went with him.
Knicks fans, you clamored for Carmelo Anthony a year ago. Well, now you get him in all his glory. This is his team now.