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Jeff Van Gundy says it would be ‘ludicrous’ for Knicks to fire Mike Woodson after timeout failure vs. Wizards

Dec 20, 2013, 9:31 AM EDT

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After the Knicks lost to the Wizards earlier this week by coming undone on the game’s final two possessions, there were some observers that believed Mike Woodson should finally take the fall for his role in not only that particular loss, but also how his team had underachieved to this point in the season.

New York seemed to be on track for a victory, but then a bad defensive assignment with no one rotating to help saw Beno Udrih allow Bradley Beal to get to the rim uncontested for what ended up being the game-winning shot. The Knicks still had six seconds remaining and three timeouts left, but Woodson failed to use one which resulted in his team hesitating and Carmelo Anthony forcing up a wild floater from 27 feet out that had no chance of going in as time expired.

Woodson took the blame for not calling the timeout afterward, but former Knicks coach and current ESPN/ABC broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy believes that firing him over a single mistake like that would be somewhat ridiculous.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Van Gundy, on a conference call to promote ABC’s Christmas coverage, said Carmelo Anthony also was to blame for not getting the ball up the court quicker.

“The thing that irritated me, even if someone had the opinion it was a mistake, to go from mistake to quote fireable offense is ludicrous,” Van Gundy said. “You don’t cut or trade a player because they make a mistake in an NBA game. Nor should there be an over-reacton to what a coach does. What really needs to happen is to get their roster intact and when they’re healthy, play a lot of better.”

The health and the roster construction is a big part of the problem in New York, and after guiding the team to the second best record in the Eastern Conference a season ago, Woodson deserves a certain amount of leeway and shouldn’t be judged completely until he has all of his pieces in place.

Van Gundy did, however, say that there should be a philosophy in place on how to handle those types of situations, and that it should be installed from the beginning of training camp. Anthony said after the game that he was expecting a timeout, so maybe Woodson simply made a mistake. But that alone shouldn’t cost him his job when there are so many other issues with the team beyond that one game’s final possession.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    “Woodson deserves a certain amount of leeway and shouldn’t be judged completely until he has all of his pieces in place.”

    You act like the knicks are the only team with injuries.

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      No, its just that they were talking about Woodson in THIS particular article.

      By having an article and discussing one coach/team, it does NOT mean that that there aren’t other teams in the same predicament.

      Some reporter asked Van Gundy about this, as he used to coach them and he responded.

      NONE of them ever ACTED liked no other teams have injuries.

      Reading comprehension people.

      • timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        No, this site keeps constantly reminding us how injured the knicks have been, It isnt an excuse for Woodson or the team, they still have enough talent enough even with the injuries to win more than they have.

      • fanofevilempire - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        this fools team doesn’t even make the playoffs and he is telling you about a coach that won 54 games, when was the last time the wolves won 54 games and not over two seasons.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      maybe espn- all of their shows should stop firing coaches
      and report what is actually happening.
      now sports is not about the score it’s about reporting a bunch of garbage.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      so if the timberwolves lose Love for the season they should make the playoffs anyway, well
      they haven’t made the playoffs with him so what does it matter.
      maybe you should stop running your mouth so much about the knickerbockers when the
      wolves suck with their best players on the court!

      • timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        We smoked the knicks at your place. Wait until the caleder turns and we make a big run. Youre just a bandwagon idiot. This conversation has nothing to do with the wolves anyway. Also, last itme I checked Carmelo has been out there all year.

    • cruzan80 - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Ok genius, name the team with a winning record this season who has starters already missing over 10 games……

    • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      @timberwolvesbrisin – Injuries are not the issue. The Knicks front office keeps getting players that are defensive swiss cheese. With Chandler out it exposes the rest of the Knicks roster for the poor defensive unit that they are. That certainly is NOT Woodson’s fault. Nor is it Woodson’s fault that the Knicks keep giving away talent in return for stiffs like Bargnani, or bringing in guys like JR Smith.

      I didn’t think the Knicks were as good as their record last year, and the only reason they achieved that was Woodson. Dolan and his front office lackey’s are the issue in NY, and the choices they make about who they bring in. They got lucky in getting Woodson to come in after D’Antoni and should thank their lucky stars, because chances are Woodson isn’t going to stay there, and (barring better decisions in the front office) this team will completely collapse over the next few years.

  2. daddyghi - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    just go ahead and fire woodson then make jeff van gundy call the shots.

  3. chargerdillon - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    The real JVG interpretation: “Please don’t fire Mike Woodson, nobody (including myself) wants to coach this mess”

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      you back again chargers fan, ahahahahahahahahahahah chargers,
      wtf have the chargers ever won?

  4. jcmeyer10 - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    JvG would do as good of a job from the announcers table coaching that team. If I didn’t know any better I wouldn’t know they had a coach after watching them blow the fundamentals.

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