Report: Knicks Have Plotted Against Head Coach Mike Woodson

Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks continue to compile losses as their tumultuous season has brought them to a record of 19-30, good for the tenth-seed in the Eastern Conference. New York was expected to be toward the top of the conference after earning 54-wins last season and the two-seed, but injuries combined with poor play and poor coaching have the Knicks struggling to win games. They have now lost three straight and 4-of-6 in their last 10 contests.

Due to the team’s lack of success in recent months, there are now reports emerging that specific individuals on New York’s roster have plotted against head coach Mike Woodson to get him, and almost all of his coaching staff fired from the organization, according to Steve Popper of The Bergen Record. Because there are no high-profile coaches who would step in at this point midseason, the team is considering keeping assistant coach Herb Williams on staff and promoting him as interim head coach.

The Knicks players, however, have yet to publicly or directly voice their displeasure with Woodson.

 “I stopped listening to stuff like that honestly.” J.R. Smith said. “I love Coach Woodson. I think he’s done a great job. But it’s out of my hands. So I would hope not, but if it does then we have to live with it.”

It is still unclear what Smith specifically means of Woodson’s “great job.” The team has a record 19-30 with losses to the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers as well as the dysfunctional Cleveland Cavaliers and lowly Milwaukee Bucks. For a team with playoff aspirations, they do not have the luxury to take nights off or play sub-par. The Knicks need to win. But it seems they just can’t.

 “At this point I don’t really know what’s going to happen, if something’s going to happen,” Carmelo Anthony said. “To be honest with you, I don’t know what rumors is out there. When I tell you I don’t read or look at that stuff honestly I don’t. If something was to happen then it’s out of my hands.”

Despite the rumors swirling about Woodson’s job security since the beginning of the season, owner James Dolan gave his coach a vote of confidence in a rare interview with the New York Post, as Popper points out:

“I have a lot of confidence in Woodson, and one thing I can say about Mike is he has the respect of all the players,” Dolan told Mike Vaccaro. “They all respect him. And he treats them fairly and relatively equally, and that’s part of where the respect emanates from. And those are hard things to get from a coach.”

Yet, that was in November. A lot has changed in the last couple of months and Dolan is known for acting irrationally. Just prior to the start of this season’s campaign, he fired former general manager Glen Grunwald and replaced him with Steve Mills. The booting was a surprise to many, including their superstar player.

The Knicks appear to be at a crossroads. The low-quality of the Eastern Conference this season has allowed them to stay in the playoff hunt, but making the postseason is certainly not a guarantee at this point. With Anthony’s free-agency looming and essentially acting as the team’s only capable player on the court on a nightly basis, New York’s primary focus should be to keep the 29-year-old in the Big Apple. To keep him, the Knicks must win.

Can they win with Woodson?


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Smith, Anthony quotes and plotting report via Steve Popper/The Bergen Record


Mike Woodson Sets Curfew for Knicks

Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

On November 10, the New York Knicks were embarrassed at home, losing to the San Antonio Spurs 120-89 to drop them to 2-4 on the season.

On December 8, the Knicks, once again were on the wrong side of the most lopsided NBA game of the season, allowing the Boston Celtics to come into Madison Square Garden and defeat them 114-73.

There are two constants in those two games played. The Knicks played extremely poor quality basketball, and the games took place at 12:00 p.m. on weekends.

Coach Mike Woodson has had enough.

With yet another weekend afternoon game looming on the schedule for Saturday, Woodson has decided to set a curfew for the struggling squad.

“Yeah, we’ve had those troubles and you know, we’re going to all get together tonight and huddle together,” Woodson said after practice on Friday. “I’m not going to let them hang out.

Carmelo Anthony said he was “hearing” the curfew was going to be 10:00 p.m. He also noted that the team stayed together before their disaster against the Celtics earlier this month, but will most likely be on a stricter schedule this time around.

“We’ve done that plenty of times where we stayed at a hotel together, the night before a game. Sometimes it helps sometimes it works. We’ll see about that tomorrow,” Anthony said. “We didn’t do it the San Antonio game. Sometimes it works – early games. Sometimes it don’t.

The six-time All-Star touched on the type of game the Knicks want to have:

“We want to come out the gates (Saturday), establish the tempo, establish the style of game we want to play. We want to win. That’s the goal, to get back winning on our home court,” Anthony said. “I think it’s a mental thing. When you have them early morning games you start thinking too much. Should you go to sleep early? Should you get this amount of rest? I think it’s all mental. Besides it being an early ass game, I think it’s all mental at that point.”

The Knicks (8-17) host the Memphis Grizzlies (10-15) on Saturday at 12:00 P.M. ET. Amar’e Stoudemire will be back in the lineup after sitting out with soreness in his knee. Tyson Chandler will be playing his second consecutive game after recovering from a fractured leg suffered on November 5. Pablo Prigioni (toe) and Kenyon Martin (abdominal) are both out.


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All quotes via New York Daily News


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