As the New York Knicks put together a seven game winning streak, they took some of the heat off of coach Mike Woodson. All season, Woodson has been on the verge of losing his job, but the team seemed to win every time those rumors circulated. Woodson has made questionable decisions all season, and it’s surprising that he wasn’t fired back in December. Though the Knicks’ winning has disguised Woodson’s horrific coaching, Friday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers is a clear example of why Woodson needs to be fired right now.
The Knicks were up by 17 points with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Coach Woodson pulled the starters and gave minutes to backups like Toure’ Murray, Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich. The 76ers then went on a 16-1 run and came within two points. With well under a minute left, Woodson decides to put his starters back in the game. At no point did it cross Woodson’s mind to put the starters back in the game while the 76ers made shot after shot and crept closer and closer back into the game.
The Knicks went 12 possessions without scoring while the backups were in the game. Woodson’s decision to put the backups in with more than five minutes left was questionable, but it can be overlooked. But when the 76ers came within less than 10 points, the starters needed to be back in the game. No one could make a shot, and Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler were all on the bench. Woodson should not be coaching this team, he is simply throwing games away.
In the final seconds of the game, Anthony missed a crucial free throw to keep it a one possession game, and luckily, the 76ers missed a three-pointer. They wound up scoring two more points to make the final score 93-92. The Knicks won their eighth straight, but it shouldn’t have been this close. This absolutely has to be the final straw for Woodson. It would be shocking if new Knicks president Phil Jackson fires Woodson before the season ends, but he really should. If not, there’s no way they can justify bringing Woodson back as coach next season. He proved tonight that he’s either incapable of coaching an NBA team, or he is just trying to get fired.