- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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But Woodson reiterated that he believes he's still the right man for the job and that he will keep working hard to lead the Knicks to the division title.
"Every day that I come to work, I work," said Woodson, who repeatedly said how privileged he is to be Knicks coach. "I don't take days off. I put my time in, I think my preparation is great with my staff. And we try to get our guys to play at a high level."
"Unfortunately, we haven't had a lot of the pieces," Woodson continued of injuries to his squad. "I thought I got to a rotation in those two games with Brooklyn and Orlando which I felt was good, but got to the arena and Kenyon [Martin] couldn't go ... For me, it has kind of been a work in progress. I think I am up for the task."
The Knicks will try to save some face on Tuesday at Cleveland (7-13). Woodson's seat got warm again after the Knicks (5-14) failed to show up and were blown out 114-73 by the Celtics at home.
Woodson was asked how the team's confidence is after the debacle.
"I think it's OK," Woodson said. "I wish I could explain our game the other night. After having two games where I think that we made major steps we just had a game that we just, there was nothing right about it. After watching it on tape and breaking it down, it was just awful."
There was one sign of encouragement at practice as Tyson Chandler went through drills in practice and did conditioning and some banging but did not scrimmage. It was the first time since he broke his right leg that Chandler did this much in practice. Tuesday marks five weeks since Chandler broke his leg. His original timetable for recovery was four to six weeks.
"Today was just kind of like conditioning day, being on the floor, trying to get my timing back, and some light work, minimum contact," Chandler said. "The next couple steps are really getting on the floor and practicing and trying to simulate game speed."
Chandler said he hopes to be back before Jan. 1, so Woodson may have to go a bit more without his starting center. The Knicks coach hopes to have Martin available against the Cavaliers. Martin (ankle) did not play against the Celtics and did not practice but he is listed as probable against Cleveland. Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith both didn't go through contact on Monday as well but likely will be available.
Woodson has to find a way to get his team to play more like it did during last week's two-game winning streak when the Knicks crushed the Nets and Magic by 30 and 38 points, respectively.
"At the end of the day, the players are playing, but I'm still coaching the team," Woodson said. "I've always had the responsibility as the coach to make sure guys are playing at a high level. We've done that for the most part since I've been here. We've had our lapses since I've been here.
"I'm still the head coach," Woodson continued. "And I'm still going to push guys to play at a high level. Players have got to do their part as well. We can't have games like that. That's no fun for anybody."
7dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann