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Mike Woodson on Knicks struggles: “Blame it on me”

May 15, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three Getty Images

J.R. Smith did the manly thing and said to blame him for the Knicks struggles against the Pacers. And certainly his shooting slump (exacerbated by the Pacers stout defense) isn’t helping matters.

But Mike Woodson is a stand up coach; he’s not going to let the Sixth Man of the Year throw himself under the bus. Woodson told the New York Post Knicks fans should throw him under the bus.

“Again, I’m the head coach. Blame it on me. I don’t look at it in that light. The bottom line is we’re all trying to do the right things to win basketball games. If we don’t have the slippage to start the series, we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. But right now our backs are against the wall and my job is to get us out of this hole.’’

Woodson does deserve a lot of blame — he has tried to match the size of the Pacers, to match their physicality, rather than staying with the small ball (Carmelo Anthony at the four) that got them here. He has gone away from Pablo Prigioni and the ball movement of the Knicks has not coincidentally gone away, too. Oh, and there’s the odd fascination with playing Jason Kidd, too.

But really, there is enough blame to go around in New York that everyone should get their fill.

  1. cantonbound13 - May 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    I totally blame Woodson. He has no offensive game plan & doesn’t make other teams adjust to his lineups, instead he plays into other teams strategies. Why are Novak & Copeland sitting when no one can score?
    Funny also how Donnie Walsh built the Pacers up so fast. If Dolan minded his business & let Donnie do his thing, the Knicks would be in better shape today.

    • karlton3 - May 15, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      I like Donnie, but if you think he built this team (and in one year, since he came back in June 2012) )you’re sorely mistaken.

      Larry Bird was building this team for years. Larry drafted Roy Hibbert, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and Tyler Hansbrough. Larry signed David West. Larry traded for George Hill. Larry fired Jim O’Brien and hired (and then re-signed) Frank Vogel.

      This team acts and plays like a Larry Bird team.

      • eventhorizon04 - May 15, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Yep – most of the important pieces on the Indiana team (Hibbert, George, Stephenson, West, Hill, etc.) are a credit to Bird.

        The improvement this year came from younger guys getting better, not necessarily any new free agent additions (though Mahimi has been a pretty solid pickup at backup C).

    • karlton3 - May 15, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      I like Donnie, but if you think he built this team (and in one year, since he came back in June 2012) you’re sorely mistaken.

      Larry Bird was building this team for years. Larry drafted Roy Hibbert, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and Tyler Hansbrough. Larry signed David West. Larry traded for George Hill. Larry fired Jim O’Brien and hired (and then re-signed) Frank Vogel.

      This team acts and plays like a Larry Bird team.

    • spthegr8 - May 15, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      @canton
      I agree with some of that but, @ the end of the day. PLAYERS have make plays & shots. Right now the Knicks aren’t doing either.

      • cantonbound13 - May 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        I think Woodson’s gone at the end of the year. Rumor has it Jerry Sloan may be the next head coach.

      • spthegr8 - May 15, 2013 at 8:44 PM

        That would be upgrade!! Sloan is an All-Time great!!!

  2. birdsflynorth206 - May 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Damn right it is your fault. Maybe you should call some plays instead of letting Melo and Smith go 1 on 5. Everyone knows when the Knicks are moving the ball around they make shot and win games

  3. saint1997 - May 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Everyone in NY is playing the blame game – in that they all are trying to accept the blame

  4. bknowledge - May 15, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    If I were coach of the Knicks I would:
    Ask Carmelo to guard Hibbert. His job guarding Hibbert is to keep Hibbert off the offensive glass. Melo is never to leave Hibbert. Melo is to keep his body between Hibbert and the glass. If Hibbert wants to shoot over Melo, Knicks should live with that. If Hibbert wants to shoot a baseline turnaround or hook, Knicks should live with that. If Hibbert wants to drive/spin from the low post into the center of the paint, Knicks should double team him quick and try to steal the ball.
    Tyson should cover David West//play a zone at the high post. Tyson really should be able to shut down West (turn him into a 17 foot jump shooter) and help out everyone else from there//be available to double Hibbert if Hibbert drives from the low post into the paint.

    I don’t see Hibbert scoring more than 25, even if he was covered by Melo or Kidd.
    Also, if Melo is guarding Hibbert, it means Shumpert would be guarding George. I’d ask Melo to take his time getting to the offensive end, while Shumpert trys to run a fast break or delayed every time. I’d try to force George to cover Shumpert.

    I’d probably start:
    Felton
    Shumpert
    Copeland
    Melo
    Tyson

    I’d give Prigioni a lot of minutes…

  5. andiroid71 - May 15, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Man, fans can be so fickle. Woodson has done a kick ass job this season with these Knicks. He can’t make shots go in. He can’t personally get that ball to fall through the hoop. There has been sickness, injury etc. Not excuses, but a reality. And one that is even more so when you are in the playoffs against teams who are good enough to be there too.

    Jeez I hope he stays, cause he has gotten good play out of a group of players that when you look at the roster you go “What the….?” Lay off and support rather than be like a Lakers fan and whine and cry.

    I hope Jerry Sloan is not in that seat next season……

    • nygrwy - May 16, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      Its not about shots falling. Its about getting good shots off which his guys cannot do. That falls on the coach. He needs a better offensive strategy

  6. nygrwy - May 16, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    He knows he is on his way out. Its just blatantly obvious that he is a average coach and is out matched come the post season. It sucks cause he seems like a great guy and def has gotten them up, but the strategy is just not there.

    The Knicks are not championship material. Playoff time is when you get to see what your team is about. We are not that good. Its as simple as that. There are a lot of bad teams in the East Coast records are misleading.

    They are not winning with this squad. I learned how important it is to have two way players. Need guys who can score and shut defenders down.

  7. metalhead65 - May 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    How about blaming it on the fact the PACERS are simply the better team? it’s pretty obvious at this point isn’t it?they beat you at the garden won their home games and are 1 game away from bouncing your overrated knicks out of the playoffs. accept the inevitable and stop making excuses.

    • coltsfreek - May 16, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      sho’nuff

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