MDA, Woody not that different says Jeffries

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
5:00
PM ET
Jared Jeffries answered some questions about the Knicks recent turnaround since Mike Woodson took over as interim head coach during an interview on ESPN 1050’s Ryan Ruocco and Robin Lundberg Show.

Here’s what Jeffries said about the Knicks recent rejuvenated energy since Mike D’Antoni resigned last week.

“I think that whenever there’s a shakeup like that in an organization, players play harder. I don’t know why. I don’t know what happens. A lot of times when you see a player traded, or whether you see a coach fired or a there’s a GM change in the middle of the season, their play picks up. I think Woody is doing a great job of coming into a difficult situation and he’s been doing a great job of coaching and winning games.”

Jeffries sat out Friday's win against Toronto with a sore right knee after landing awkwardly in the third quarter last Wednesday night against Philadelphia. Jeffries said he will have an MRI Saturday and hopes to return to the lineup early next week. After playing Toronto Friday and Detroit Saturday, New York faces the surging Milwaukee Bucks and Monta Ellis on Monday before hosting Orlando on next Wednesday.

Jeffries missed four games earlier this month with a right knee injury and the team struggled defensively in his absence. At the same time, defense has led the way in Woodson’s first five games –all wins – holding teams under 90 points in 4 of the 5 games. Jeffries said the effort has more to do with circumstance than the new voice on the sideline.

“I don’t think that Mike Woodson and Mike D’Antoni are that different,” he said. “Really, it was a matter of circumstances. He had four years here in a tough market. New York’s tough and there’s a lot of friction because we wanted to win. Guys wanted to win. We wanted to win now. We knew this team could win and I think Mike felt that. I think Mike did a really good thing in recognizing that maybe things weren’t going the way he wanted and by him stepping down, the result is we’re winning games.”

Jeffries said he is sure that D’Antoni will coach again and tried to dispel the notion that Carmelo Anthony has been playing harder since D’Antoni stepped down.

I think it’s unfair to say that Carmelo, one way or the other, has picked up his play that much and that’s why we’re winning and why we were losing. That’s unfair.”

For the entire interview and Jeffries thoughts on Jeremy Lin, click here.

You can follow Christopher Hunt on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2