You need to go back seven seasons to find one where at least one NBA coach wasn’t canned before Christmas. Right now we are eight days away from Santa’s visit and it looks like he once again may not bring any pink slips in his bag.
If that changes, it’s because of the Knicks.
While a few other coaches may feel warm seats (Jason Kidd, Dwane Casey) none seem in imminent danger of getting canned. Woodson… that was one ugly ending to their home loss to Washington Monday night. Just poor execution all the way around — not using the foul to give, terrible defensive rotations, going with a wild shot rather than calling timeout to set up a play. Woodson knows he’s on the hot seat and that didn’t help his cause — a lot of Knicks fans want him gone as their Christmas present.
So why is Woodson still there? Marc Stein explains it well at ESPN.
Two things team insiders say continue to work in Woodson’s favor even after the disastrous finish against the Wiz: (1) He’s only had the influential Chandler in the lineup for four games; (2) New York’s limited options in terms of interim coaches (Herb Williams, Darrell Walker or the total coaching novice Allan Houston) add to Woodson’s shelf life.
As I have said more than once, the Knicks’ rough season is more on management than Woodson — they constructed a team that could not win without a healthy Tyson Chandler (and he’s injury prone). J.R. Smith’s play is not on Woodson either. There are just a lot of flaws in roster construction that are not on thee coach.
Which is why other elite coaches don’t want the job (or they want some roster control with it).
But he seems to have lost the ability to get this team to focus. There is confusion, poor effort and finger pointing. The rotations are odd choices at times.
Plus owner James Dolan has already fired the GM and he will not fire himself, so who is left?
The deciding factor may be what Carmelo Anthony (and by proxy his agency CAA) wants. The Knicks are all about keeping Anthony, and that means if he wants the coach to stay…