Woodson Debuts For New York With Blowout Win Vs Portland
I already wrote the title of this post with 2:10 still left in the game between the New York Knicks and the Portland Trail Blazers. That’s how excited I was that New York was finally getting a win.
And finally solving their own funk.
The Knicks finally snapped their six-game skid with a 42-point blowout victory over the Blazers, 121-79, a day after Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach, making way for assistant coach Mike Woodson to step in as interim tactician.
A close look at the stat sheet would reveal a change in the gameplan, reflective of Woodson’s approach–New York’s second unit outscored Portland AND their very own first unit. The combined points of Ian Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak equal the total points scored by all of New York’s starting five with 59 points, and outscoring Portland’s first five, who only combine for 50 points. The Knicks dished the leather more times than Portland, 35-11, had more rebounds, and lesser turn-overs. Smith led the team with 23 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace each had 15 for the Blazers.
D’Antoni’s resignation came at the heels of the worst slide by the Knicks since Linsanity happened a little over a month ago. What looked like a feel-good story at first all of sudden turned into a nightmare when the team started piling up losses, at a time when New York had their two all-stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire back in the roster, as well as having role players like J.R. Smith and Baron Davis joining the team’s regular rotations.
With such a depth of players in their team, the only thing left as target for accusing fingers was the coach, and it wasn’t long before D’Antoni felt the blaming indexes directed at him for failing to bail the Knicks out of their slump. After 3-and-a-half seasons, D’Antoni ended his stint with the Knicks with a 121-167 win-loss record, a far cry from his 267-172 tab when he was with Phoenix.
And then this drubbing by New York of Portland.
If this means anything at all, it could be that things are changing. But whether for better or for worse will be tested when the Knicks play a game outside of their home floor, visiting Indiana a day after they host them on the 16th.
But for now, let Woodson savor his first win.
And then let him get back to work and prove his worth.