Before facing off against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said he’s looking for his team to improve on both ends of the floor to stop their three-game slide.
Despite the recent slow starts, Woodson will be going with the same starting five: Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. The Raptors will start Landry Fields to match up with Anthony, like they did at Madison Square Garden before the All-Star break.
NO CHANGES IN X'S AND O'S: Like Anthony has expressed repeatedly over the last few days, Woodson doesn’t think his team’s losing streak has been because of strategy on either end and he doesn’t think teams have been defending them differently.
"I just think we’re missing shots and against Indiana, it was just a fiasco," Woodson said. "Defensively we were nonexistent in terms of how we defended. But recently we’ve just had our problems putting the ball in the bucket. The Toronto game right before the break, we had layup after layup, had wide open shots ... we just couldn’t knock ‘em down. So we gotta get back to making shots but we gotta get back to defending too. That’s first and foremost."
"Anxious" to see how they respond: Asked if having a veteran club means the team will be able to weather the storm, Woodson said it remains to be seen.
"We’ve had games where we’ve got smoked and we’ve bounced back and performed and stepped up and made plays and won games, so it’ll be interesting to see how we come out tonight," he said. "I’m
anxious to see where we are tonight."
NO UPDATE ON KENYON: Woodson said he did not know whether or not to expect Kenyon Martin in the lineup on Sunday against Philadelphia.
"I don’t even know how his physical went yet," he said. "We’re still waiting on that. He was back in New York getting a physical and I haven’t heard the results of that yet, so we’ll know tomorrow."
CAMBY LOOKING FORWARD TO MARTIN'S ARRIVAL: Like Anthony and J.R. Smith, Marcus Camby teamed up with Martin in Denver. He said he didn’t know about the signing until this morning and hasn’t spoken to him but expressed that he’s happy to have him.
"K-Mart’s a good asset to any ballclub that he’s been on," Camby said. "When they acquired him last year with the Clippers, he helped those guys make a nice playoff push towards the end of the season and just by knowing him I know he’s hungry. I know what he can bring especially on the defensive end of the basketball court and anytime you want to go into a battle, that’s one guy you would like to have on your side. He’s that tenacious."