- 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: If you were Mike Woodson, how would you have drawn up the Knicks' final play on Thursday?
Your team is down one with eight seconds to go. You have the ball, you're on your home floor and you have a chance to pull out a big win with your leading scorer on the bench.
What play do you draw up?
On Thursday night, Mike Woodson wanted to get the ball to J.R. Smith, with the hope that Smith would drive into the lane. Woodson's Knicks had been scoreless in the 1:43 prior to that play and hadn't had a field goal in nearly three minutes. So the coach figured to go with his hottest hand, which belonged to Smith, who had a game-high 36 points.
But it didn't work out. Instead of driving the lane, Smith settled for a fading 17-footer that clanked off the rim.
Here's what Woodson saw on the play:
"We got the movement, but it was so sluggish the way we got into it. We didn’t fire off of it like we should have. I was trying to get guys to go in a different direction. The play was for J.R. But once he actually caught it, he looked up at the clock and when he caught it and faced he could have just gone with it because everybody was plugged into their guys. He could have ripped through it and went to the rim. But he didn’t and settled for the jump shot."
Of course, the ball would have been in Carmelo Anthony's hands if he were healthy.
But he wasn't around due to a knee injury. So Woodson drew up the play for Smith. It didn't work out, and the Knicks walked off the floor with a loss.
Question: Would you have done anything differently if the clipboard was in your hands? Or would you have drawn up the same play?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
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