Mike Woodson on the Atlantic Division: ‘I expect us to win it this year’


As Knicks coach, Mike Woodson is supposed to remain positive.

As a basketball blogger, I’m supposed to make fun of anyone who says anything positive about the woeful Knicks.

So, let’s just get to it.

Woodson, via Al Iannazzone of Newsday:

“Do I see some light at the end of the tunnel? I do,” Woodson said. “I think eventually we’ll get to where we need to get as a ballclub. And I’m basing that on our last 12 games. Eventually we’ll get healthy and we’ll see how it all plays out.

“The beauty about all of this that we’re going through is nobody’s running away with it in our division and I’m pushing our team to win our division still. We won it last year and I expect us to win it this year.”

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Here are the Atlantic Division standings:

  • Raptors, 11-15
  • Celtics, 12-17
  • Knicks, 9-19
  • Nets, 9-19
  • 76ers, 8-20

Sure, the Knicks still have a chance, but based on that, it’s difficult to objectively predict New York will win the division.

Oh, oops. My mistake. Woodson is judging it by each each team’s best 12-game stretch. That makes some sense, seeing which team has indicated the highest ceiling. How do the Atlantic teams rank with that method?

  • Celtics, 8-4
  • Knicks, 6-6
  • Nets, 6-6
  • Raptors, 5-7
  • 76ers, 5-7

Nope. New York still isn’t No. 1 that way.

But maybe Woodson specifically meant each team’s last 12 games. You know, recent sample being more telling and all. In that case:

  • Celtics, 6-6
  • Knicks, 6-6
  • Raptors, 5-7
  • Nets, 5-7
  • 76ers, 2-10

New York comes close, but it loses the tiebreaker to Boston, because the Celtics beat the Knicks during this span.

I just can’t spin the numbers to put the Knicks in the diver’s seat. But I guess that’s not my job. It’s Woodson’s.