The Knicks, as pointed out by Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal, often start players like James White and Kurt Thomas and then give them very few minutes.
Herring uses a couple different benchmarks – five or fewer minutes, fewer than 16 minutes – but, either way, the Knicks lead the league by a wide margin.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson was asked about the practice:
“By starting them, you’re putting them on a stage to start in an NBA game, and guaranteeing that the player is going to go out and make the most of his minutes,” Woodson said. “Guys like [White] and Chris Copeland, they know they aren’t going to get 30 or 35 minutes, and that it might be only four or five instead. So they have to go all out. And [as a coach], you hope that helps get you off to a good start.”
I have no idea whether this is a sound strategy. But I absolutely love it.
Woodson was criticized in Atlanta for his simplistic Iso-Joe scheme, even though the Hawks had the NBA’s second-best offensive rating in his final season there. The problem was aesthetic more than anything. Fans don’t enjoy watching boring boring basketball.
But this is creative – maybe even innovative – and Woodson should get credit for thinking outside the box in an effort to help his team win more.
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Your soon-to-be NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard was on NBC Sports Network’s The Crossover Tuesday (with Michelle Beadle and Dave Briggs, you’ll be able to tell them apart in the video) to talk about his one great weakness — a fear of historical statues. Seriously. Which is odd and interesting but difficult to use against him in games. (Insert your own “Kurt Thomas is a historic statue” joke here.)
Also he talks about why he tweets rap lyrics. Oh, and a little hoops. Plus his to-be-praised involvement in an anti-bullying campaign.
Lillard is a good guy, a good fit in the Portland community. He’s a good sport in this interview, too.
The Knicks are getting a healthy body back — that itself almost feels like a miracle. Maybe the Knicks are shipping in the team drinking water from Lourdes.
Carmelo Anthony is “probable” for return Wednesday night when the Knicks take on Orlando, the team announced.
Anthony missed a couple games with irritation in his knee, and when he tried to return and it was still stiff so he missed a few more games and had the fluid from his knee drained. He should be back close to 100 percent.
Which is good because the Knicks need their leading scorer. Right now Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Kurt Thomas are all out. Chandler could be back in a week or so from the bulging disc in his back, the other two may be out until around the start of the playoffs. The Knicks are an older, banged-up team right now.
The Knicks are 4-6 in their last 10 games and have slipped to the three seed in the East, just one game up on the four-seed nets and three up on the five- seed Hawks. (They are also one game back of the two-seed Pacers.) Mike Woodson needs to find a way to build some momentum for the playoffs while getting players healthy and rested. Good luck with that. But getting Anthony and his shot creation back in the lineup certainly helps.