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Report: Knicks’ Woodson not on hot seat but management wants lineup changes

Nov 18, 2013, 3:18 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Getty Images

Mike Woodson is not to blame for everything going on with the New York Knicks — he’s a good NBA coach trying to do the best he can with an ill-fitting roster. Last season New York was able to knock down a lot of threes and get 54 wins thanks to Carmelo Anthony having a career year (as did a couple other Knicks), but after roster changes this summer the threes are not falling this season, J.R. Smith isn’t himself and Tyson Chandler is out for a month as the defense swoons.

That sounds like a recipe for the front office to scapegoat a coach and ship him out of town, but Woodson’s job is safe in New York, reports the New York Daily News.

However, management is pressuring him to change the rotations, Frank Isola says in the report.

Despite the Knicks’ 3-6 start and five straight home losses, Woodson is not in imminent danger, according to a source, of being the next Knicks head coach to “resign” — which is Garden-speak for canned. If Lenny Wilkens and Mike D’Antoni both resigned, so will Woodson. Count on it.

Until then, the coach is safe, but the word from above is to tinker with the starting lineup, which likely will include shifting soon-to-be-traded Iman Shumpert to the bench and likely promoting veteran tough guy Kenyon Martin. The move allows Anthony to play small forward while placing a rebounding and defensive-minded forward next to Andrea Bargnani, a non-rebounding, defensively challenged forward/center.

Deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind.

Actually, things are not that dire — at some point next month it is likely Chandler returns to help the defense and solidify them inside. Smith will find his stroke again. The Knicks are a playoff team in the East.

Just nothing more than that.

The Knicks thrived last year with Anthony having a career year playing mostly the four and everyone else fitting in around him, especially Smith. This season the Knicks seem committed to having him at the three again and using Bargnani to space the floor. The results have been uncomfortable. I’m not sure how you really can fit all these pieces together to make it work.

But that’s Woodson’s job. Combine all that with owner James Dolan’s unpredictability and it’s not hard to see how Woodson could become the scapegoat.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    New York was able to knock down a lot of threes and play getto “ghetto?” ball (JR, presumably ha, because that’s what he does, much to the chagrin of lifelong Knick fans) and win 54 games?

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      If Poppovich coached the Knicks last year, they would have won 60.

      It amazes me how Woodson STILL can’t get Melo and JR to improve their shot selection.

      Melo and JR aka feast or famine.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        Please. We had over 200 games missed due to injury.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        And the Knicks were more efficient offensively than the Spurs. You are a fool and don’t know what you’re talking about.

  2. jzone954 - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Once “management” starts telling the coach what he should do…’s over.

    • davidly - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Yeah, it may not be a hot seat, but it’s pretty damn warm.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        Not understanding how he would be, anyway, except the fact that Dolan is a fool. He has hamstrung Woodson, ran out the GM who actually built a solid team, and forced the Bargnani trade, leaving him with a bunch of mismatched pieces. All of our PGs have played HORRIBLY on both ends.

      • daddyghi - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:39 AM

        this is why you hire a GM to run the show, so that you dont have to.. specially when your bad in basketball related decision makings…

  3. skids003 - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    “Management.?” You mean the great Carmelo.

  4. wbkev24 - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    The problem with the Knicks has always been the ownership…James Dolan sucks!
    They forced Donnie Walsh out before he was able to put together all of the pieces…They’re almost ready to force Woody out for who??? I will always be a true Knicks fan but I feel we have been cursed ever since we traded Patrick Ewing…We need a miracle

    • zerole00 - Nov 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Whoa whoa, let’s ignore Isiah Thomas’ final efforts as well.

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM


    Dolan forced Checketts to trade Ewing, also, just like he forced Walsh to mortgage the future — which we are STILL paying to Denver next year in the draft — to acquire Anthony when he would have been had free and clear WITH the role players necessary to win, and also forced Grunwald to trade for Bargnani THEN fired him.

    This team has had three legitimate shots to contend, and each time, Dolan has submarined the efforts.

  6. mogogo1 - Nov 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Oh, so he’s not on the hot seat…management is just telling him how to coach. TOTALLY different thing, I’m sure.

    And using this looser definition, there are coaches who are unemployed who are still not on the hot seat with their former employers.

  7. wbkev24 - Nov 18, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Dolan is like the Jerry Jones of Basketball but at least the cowboys have won multiple championships since the Knicks won in 1973…smfh

    • 22yearsagotoday - Nov 18, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      First time anyone ever compared Texas to NY.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        It’s not Texas and New York, its their situations…

        The Cowboys and Knicks both are in the bright lights relative to their (lack of) accomplishments, the best arenas in their sport, ridiculously high expectations, high profile management, etc. I think it was spot on.

  8. vriv950 - Nov 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    If the Knicks lose the next 4-6 games Woodson is fired.. If so Knicks should pick up Lionel Hollins

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      On the court Hollins would be a good fit. Off the court, I would pay to be a fly on the wall when he and Dolan meet after a loss.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      no he won’t be. Listen to people who actually have insight into the team.

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