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Woodson thinks Knicks have shot at NBA title. This year.

Mar 21, 2012, 1:32 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks Getty Images

Mike Woodson is nothing if not optimistic.

While his team prepares for a big game Wednesday night that may determine if they can even get out of the first round of the NBA playoffs — by avoiding Chicago and Miami as the opener — he is not shying away from talking about his team going deep in the postseason. Very deep.

Think 1973 deep.

This is what Woodson said about the Knicks in the playoffs at the end of an interesting Q&A with the New York Post.

(The Knicks) have a legitimate shot to win the title. When the playoffs come around, it’s open season. Who’s playing the hardest, the best … who believes that they can really get it done. Homecourt and all that goes out the door. It’s great to have homecourt, but hey, we (2004 Pistons) didn’t have it in the Eastern Conference Final that year, and we ended up beating the Pacers. We didn’t have it in the Finals that year, and we beat the Lakers …and if these guys are honest with themselves, and hold each other accountable, their credibility is rollin’ high, man, anything can happen in a playoff series. Anything.

In theory, yes, anything can happen. Even the Mavericks winning it all last year was a bit of a surprise. But remember that the 2004 Pistons were the aberration — teams don’t normally come from out of the blue to win (and those Pistons were not really that out of the blue). Besides, those Pistons played defense much more like the Bulls than these Knicks (who have been better but not THAT good).
Basically, you want to beat the 76ers and find a way out of the 7 or 8 seed. That is the best route to advancing in the East.
You should read the entire interview with Woodson, where he talks about Bobby Knight, his introduction to Rucker Park and much more. Interesting stuff.
  1. djeter220 - Mar 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    What’s he supposed to say?

    • slowclyde86 - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Not that.

      • phillysteak24 - Mar 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        are you kidding me, a defensive minded coach is what everyone in the New York area has been wanting and crying about. Now we have a very good defensive coach and you want him to not say that “HIS” team that he coaches cant win a ring…c’mon thats just not a smart comment.

      • slowclyde86 - Mar 21, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        What is it about ny coaches? Do you see other coaches publicly adding pressure to their teams? THAT is typically not smart. Say it privately, sure. But has the buffoon Ryan taught you nothing? By the way, I love it when fans speak of their team as “we”. What position do you play?

      • djeter220 - Mar 21, 2012 at 11:35 PM

        There’s a difference between adding pressure and giving faith. He said they have a chance, not that it was a done deal. Unlike Kurt or yourself, he’s saying let the games be played before you determine what is definite.

      • slowclyde86 - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:57 AM

        Gotta love Knicks fans. Win a few games and start talking championships again. Lin going to do it and now a new coach could somehow beat Chicago and Miami. Good luck with that. Absolutely hillareous.

  2. leearmon - Mar 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I almost wish the Knicks wouldn’t have started their winning streak, because as soon as they do PBT floods the gate with not only bad math in their headlines (see Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA 27((???)) years later) but now the endless amount of Knicks stories start coming our way. Now stories on New York wouldn’t be all that bad, except the lack of factual information and historical perspective. To say the Knicks’ defense has been “Not that good” is, with all due respect, absurd. They currently rank 8th in defensive efficiency. How is that not good? Really good?. Not to mention even if the 2004 Piston team wasn’t that much of an aberration, would you consider the 1999 Knicks one?

    Im not saying they’ll make the finals, win a chip or even make the playoffs. But lets use facts (defensive rankings) and historical perspective. Please???

    • jolink653 - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      i completely agree their defense always gets trashed when in fact they are in the top half of the league in almost all defensive categories…and i don’t know if anyone but knicks fans watches them consistently but these last 4 games their defense has been fantastic and yes THAT much better than it had been…if they can bring that effort and hustle every game then there’s no reason they can’t stay with and even beat any team in this league because they have all the parts and they finally seem to be coming back together as a team…hopefully they keep it going

    • iknowzeroaboutsports - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      @ leearmon and jolink653

      Reading comp 101. He says the Knicks D isn’t as good as the 2004 Pistons or the 2012 Bulls. That’s a fact.

      • leearmon - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        Fact, my point being that this season the Knicks defense is on par with the Bulls. There Deff Eff numbers are separated by 2 points. Bulls hold opponents to a better eFG% by a slight margin while New York forces more turnovers. So to say the Knicks defense is “not that good” is false. Its essentially debating semantics. You could say New York’s rebounding is “not that good” and be correct. But to say that in regards to defense and you’d be exaggerating a great deal.

        http://hoopdata.com/teamff.aspx

        So again, look at the facts and use them. Because if you don’t, Im afraid you’ll continue to sound like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, making a fuss about something, when all of your data is incorrect. Thats common sense 101.

      • kinggw - Mar 21, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        The Knicks defense isnt that good. They are nowhere near as effective as the Bulls. To suggest otherwise is blasphemous. They are much improved, but I wouldnt call them good. Instead of looking to an obscure stat like defensive efficiency, why dont you try something easier like points allowed per game or opponents field goal percentage. The Knicks are middle of the pack in both categories, 13th and 14th respectively. They arent an elite defensive team. I can think of 5 teams in the East that are better and two are within the Knicks division. The Knicks have gotten better, just be happy with that.

      • leearmon - Mar 22, 2012 at 8:17 AM

        Understand that Def. efficiency takes the majority of defensive stats and calculates them. Because simplistic stats like points allowed per game doesn’t take into account pace (obviously). Consider this, the Knicks are “middle of the pack” for opposing field goal percentage, where Chicago is great. However, New York is second in the league in forced turnovers, while Chicago is among the league’s worst. Two huge stats in regards to defense, none more important than the other. Def. efficiency takes both into account. So in reality defensive efficiency isnt all that “obscure”, if anything its the type of statistic that helps better educate and inform the basketball culture. Not to sound like a jerk, but I highly recommend you diving into some of the more advanced stats.

  3. 91devinhester23 - Mar 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    sure they do

    see you in chicago

  4. imaduffer - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Someone needs to take a drug test and it isn’t the players.

  5. pbanach01 - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Should be a good barometer of the Knicks and their current style of play. Eager to watch this match up!

  6. omniusprime - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Woodson proves that the Knicks have an idiot for their coach. They have a Lin-Ept player and now a Lin-Ept coach. Even if the Knicks somehow manage to get into the playoffs they’ll be gone in the first round for sure.

  7. alan82386 - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Knicks all the way baby!!!!

  8. chitownmatt - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Anything can happen in the playoffs…

    Seriously, If I told you last April that the Spurs would take a 1st round bow, and that the Lakers would be swept in the 2nd round by the soon to be Champion Dallas Mavericks…

    Ya’ll would have told me I was crazy.

    Both Chicago and Miami are only one sprained ankle away from a second round exit.

  9. shockexchange - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Mike Woodson needs some PR training. The objective is to underpromise and over-deliver, not the opposite.

  10. xli2006 - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Not going to happen. It’s not even a certainty they make the playoffs.

  11. lakerluver - Mar 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Yea, and I have a shot at being Halle Berry’s next “baby daddy”.

  12. glink123 - Mar 21, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Typical New York. Get to .500 before you start spouting off about winning the championship. You sound like an idiot otherwise.

  13. vicktator - Mar 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    To quote Kanye West “LOLOLOLOL”

  14. jordanaires - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Uh…no they don’t.

  15. passerby23 - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    “But remember that the 2004 Pistons were the aberration — teams don’t normally come from out of the blue to win (and those Pistons were not really that out of the blue).”

    Dallas’ run last year is exactly why you don’t sleep on the Knicks. They had everything clicking at the right time and ended up becoming a solid defensive team. Let’s also not forget the Knicks in ’99 who got to the Finals as an 8 seed, or the ’95 Rockets who won as a 6 seed. If I’m the Knicks, that’s what I’m thinking about. Can’t fault Woodson.

  16. moseskkim - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    It’s not really fair to look at him and say what u talking about crazy bald man.. He’s taken hawks to playoffs and though they didn’t advance, Knicks have much more talent than those teams. He also prefaced it by sayin if things go a certain way, they have a shot. Yes they do! They need good closing of games and melo/amare can do that. Cuz if anyone watches playoff bball, the game slows down in the 4th and it comes down to who can score and get stops down the stretch. Ny can win. If nba playoffs are anything like march madness, they definitely can win.

  17. drewzducks - Mar 21, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    I guess we know where Robert Parish’s Fedex delivery ended up.

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