Tag: Mike Woodson

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks

Mike Woodson fined $25,000 for saying referees not giving ‘Melo superstar calls


The Knicks were frustrated at the end of the loss to the Pacers — at one end Iman Shumpert brushed Paul George on the elbow during his three pointer and was called for a foul. At the other end on the final shot, Carmelo Anthony helped create a lot more body contact with George but there was no call on ‘Melo’s shot.

That frustration just cost Knicks coach Mike Woodson $25,000.

With the 3-8 Knicks needing every edge they can get, Woodson went with the “our star isn’t getting enough respect from the refs” line of arguments in an interview on ESPN Radio, as transcribed by our friends at Newsday (hat tip to SLAM).

“Absolutely not,” Woodson said Thursday on ESPN Radio. “I’m not going to shy away from that either. I think Melo gets hit more than ever….

“I’ve been at this thing 30 years,” Woodson said. “Sometimes I’m starting to wonder what’s a foul and what’s not a foul. What are you going to do? They can’t see everything and I understand that. Sometimes they miss calls. I thought he got bumped on it. Hell, he didn’t get the call so we have to move on.”

The league is consistent — players or coaches who criticize referees get fined. So the league came down with a $25,000 fine on Woodson Friday for those comments.

Woodson will gladly pay it if it gets his guy some calls… well, not gladly, but it’s less painful.

Anthony’s free throw rate (the number of free throw attempts per field goal attempts) is at .339, which is really close to the .344 he got last season. His free throw rate in general has been lower in New York than it was in Denver — because in Denver he attacked the rim more and didn’t settle for jumpers.

This was Woodson just trying to get an advantage, as he should. But Anthony has not been the problem with the Knicks offense — he remains an elite scorer in this league. It’s the lack of consistent help around him that is the bigger issue. And that’s not on the refs.

The one where Mike Woodson let Zaza Pachulia skip practice for a “hot date”

zaza pachulia

Who says Mike Woodson is an old-school, hard-ass coach. You work hard for him, you get some perks.

Woodson, the current Knicks coach, was on “The Game 365” on MSG Network, and the show was such a snoozer that just about everybody tuned out. Everybody but the folks at nba247365.com, and they were rewarded with a great story from when Woodson coached the Hawks.

“When players come to work, you don’t know what to expect,” Woodson said. “Prime example: Zaza Pachulia comes into my office…”

Zaza: Hey coach, can you let me out of practice today?
Woodson: For what?
Zaza: Man, I got a hot date.
Woodson: Are you kidding me? Do you love this girl?
Zaza: Nah coach, I can’t be in love, I’m too young.
Woodson: I take it you aren’t gonna marry this girl then?
Zaza: Nah, coach.

I’m pretty sure even the Zen master Phil Jackson would have unleashed a few swear words on Pachulia at this point. Woodson?

“Yeah, I let him go,” said Woodson, “but only because he worked his butt off for me.”

Raymond Felton, I wouldn’t recommend you try this.

J.R. Smith wants to start, coach Woodson sees it differently

Knicks Media Day Basketball
1 Comment

We brought you the report the other day that Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith doesn’t want to be a sixth man, he wants to start. And with Iman Shumpert still out for a while following knee surgery Smith sees an opening in the starting lineup.

But coach Mike Woodson is standing in his way.

Woodson was asked about Smith moving into the starting five and balked at the idea. Here are his quotes, via the New York Post.

“I kind of like J.R. where he is in terms of coming off the bench, but he could start, too, you never know,’’ Woodson said. “Everybody can’t start. I’ve got a nice mixture of guys in that starting unit from an offensive standpoint. I have to have some offense coming off the bench as well.

“Like I told J.R., if he comes off, there’s nothing wrong with that. Hell, he could be the best player coming off the bench in this league and maybe be the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Hopefully that will translate to a lot of wins and get us to a championship round because at the end of the day that’s what we’re in it for.’’

I agree that good teams have a sixth man who can come in and change a game, putting up points and changing the tempo and flow of the game (think Manu Ginobili). I agree that what matters is who finishes a game, not starts. And I agree that if he were consistent for a season Smith could be in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation.

But Woodson was starting rookie Mychel Thompson at the two guard with the starting team. There comes a time when the desire to have a sixth man of importance should give way to making sure your clear and away best player at a position gets the most minutes.

Stoudemire says he didn’t have to learn post play with D’Antoni

New York Knicks Media Day Basketball

It’s been much discussed this summer — Amar’e Stoudemire went down to Houston to learn post moves from the master, Hakeem Olajuwon (following the pattern of a lot of big men).

The idea is that it will provide him more opportunities in the Knicks offense because he’ll space out better with Carmelo Anthony. We’ll see, Tyson Chandler was already hanging out on the block and he seemed to disappear in the playoffs. The spacing will be different, that’s certain. The upside is Stoudemire will have more weapons in his arsenal to turn to when he does get the rock.

What was interesting in Stoudemire talking about his summer with the New York media was why he said he never developed a traditional post game. From the New York Post:

“I’m a player who adapted to the system I played in,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been under D’Antoni for seven, eight years. Post-up wasn’t a factor for us. We were such a high-octane, up-tempo team where speed and quickness was to our advantage. I’m now allowed to develop a post game where my speed and quickness will still be used to my advantage but add a lot of [post] skill.’’

Certainly, classic post play was a limited part of the D’Antoni offense. But as Tom Ziller pointed out on twitter, Stoudemire did have a very good turn and face-up post game before.

Defining post play as only with your back to the basket is kind of like Shaq saying the other day that Dwight Howard is somehow not a real center because he gets a lot of opportunities out of the pick-and-roll — it’s a narrow-minded, dated way of looking at things. What a player should do is what is effective — if you are a dangerous big man on the pick-and-roll and you are playing with Steve Nash, you should run P&R until your legs fall off. Stoudemire’s advantage has long been quickness and athleticism, so to use face-up post moves that allowed him to better use those traits makes sense. As he ages, he’s looking at other options.

What matters is simply how effective it is. We will see how effective Stoudemire can be in the Knicks offense this year.

For every season, turn, turn turn, J.R. Smith wants to start, turn, turn ,turn

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith attempts to dunk the ball in their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in New York

J.R. Smith’s abilities are both limited by and boosted by his confidence in his abilities. He has every bit of faith that he can make any shot he needs to, most often without the use or help of his teammates. It can propel his team to victory or send his coaches into a deep depression. Feast or famine, bombs over Baghdad, whatever you want to call it, he can score largely in part because of his belief in his ability to do so.

The Knick have their premier ISO scorer in Carmelo Anthony. Smith has come off the bench to provide reserve scoring. But this year, as has happened before, Smith wants to start. From the New York Post:

“I’d rather start. I’ve been playing [eight] years, coming off the bench,’’ Smith said yesterday. “Whether it stays [that way] or goes, I’m going to be same person I am. I prefer to start. I’d rather be a starter. If not, I understand that.’’

“It gets frustrating after a while,’’ Smith said. “People saying, “he’s a sixth man, sixth man, sixth man’’ when you believe you’re a starter. But you have to understand, it’s a team game and have to put individual goals aside.’’

via New York Knicks J.R. Smith is looking to start this season – NYPOST.com.

So he wants to start, but if not, cool. Smith is sensitive to the frustrations he’s given coaches in the past, particularly George Karl in Denver. He wants to do what’s best for the team… he just happens to believe him starting is what’s best. He’s going to get his wish at least in the beginning, with Iman Shumpet and Ronnie Brewer both banged up. Part of it, though, is that Smith can start and not threaten the makeup of the offense. He’s used to deferring to Melo. And that’s the offense in a nutshell. As long as he gives good defensive effort, which he did last season, Woodson won’t mind if he goes ISO from time to time and puts up some, er, unique shots in, er, different situations.

You live with the bad to get the good with Smith, and with his ability to stretch the floor, starting might work out for the Knicks. Most of it will likely depend on Iman Shumpert’s health when he returns.