GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- His team is 9-19. There's daily speculation about his job security. Yet, New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson remains focused on the Atlantic Division title.
"We won it last year and I expect us to win it this year," Woodson said after Knicks practice Thursday.
As miserably as things have gone for the Knicks so far this season, winning the division is very much within reach. They are just three games behind first-place Toronto entering a home-and-home, back-to-back set against the Raptors. So if all goes well, New York will be just one game back of the Raptors at the end of the week.
"The beauty about all of this that we're going through is nobody's running away with it in our division, and I'm pushing our team to win our division still," Woodson said.
The Boston Celtics (12-17) are second in the division. The Knicks and Nets are tied for third place.
Entering the season, most experts expected the Celtics, Raptors and 76ers to lose games with an eye on June's star-studded draft.
The Celtics have exceeded expectations under first-year coach Brad Stevens and may get a big addition soon as Rajon Rondo inches closer to a return.
Toronto has played well since dealing star Rudy Gay to Sacramento.
Brooklyn has dealt with chemistry issues and major injuries. Center Brook Lopez is out for the season.
So, despite their struggles to this point, the Knicks are very much alive in the Atlantic.
"Eventually we'll get healthy and we'll see how it all plays out," Woodson said.
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