- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: Mike Woodson said his team wasn't mentally or physically prepared to play Wednesday. Is that on the coach or the players? And is that a concern going forward?
Woodson wasn't happy with his team after its loss to the Wizards. And deservedly so.
The Knicks gave up 36 fourth-quarter points to a Washington team that, while improved with John Wall in the lineup, was still 22 games under .500.
It was more than just the fourth quarter, though. Woodson was upset by his team's mental and physical approach from the opening tip.
"Any team can beat you in this league if you're not mentally and physically ready to play," Woodson said. "We knew [Washington] was playing well coming in. We just didn't respond to it."
It's easy to look at this as just one road loss over the course of an 82-game season. But it's a pretty damning indictment when a coach says his team wasn't ready to play.
J.R. Smith bolstered Woodson's point when he said the Knicks came into the Verizon Center expecting an easy night at the office.
"We expected to come in here and win, and I think that's part of our problem," Smith said. "We just expect teams, when we come in the building, to lay down and not play, and we can't do that."
That brings us back to our question: Is that on the coach or the players? And does it concern you, or is it something that simply crops up over an 82-game season?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
1dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer