- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Mike Woodson is confident he can coach the Knicks out of the hole they’ve dug themselves.
J.R. Smith feels the same way.
And Smith thinks his teammates support Woodson, but he doesn’t sound 100 percent sure about it.
"Yeah, I believe so. It’s kind of hard to tell," Smith said after the Knicks’ 117-90 blowout of the Denver Nuggets on Friday. "Of course, nobody wants to show their whole hand. I think guys really care about him. I think guys care about this team, care about winning. For what we accomplished last year for it not to happen this year, I think, is frustrating to an extent. But you cant point the finger at one person."
Woodson has been under fire recently due to the Knicks’ struggles. New York had lost three straight prior to the win over Denver. The losing streak led to another round of public speculation about Woodson’s job status.
The coach said Friday that he’s "very confident" he can lead the Knicks out of the mess they’re in and into the playoffs.
"Do I think I’m the guy for the job? Absolutely, I do," Woodson said before tipoff. "That’s not ever going to change as long as I am the head coach of the Knicks."
Carmelo Anthony said earlier in the week that anything that had to do with Woodson’s job status was out of his hands. Some interpreted that as Anthony showing a lack of support for Woodson. On Friday, Anthony said he felt the Knicks needed to do more to aid their embattled coach.
"We’ve got to help him. At the end of the day, he’s the coach. He has his focus, he has his game plan, his schemes and we’re the ones that have got to go out there and execute that," Anthony said. "At the end of the day, we can’t fight that. We’ve got to do it."
Woodson said he took sole responsibility for the Knicks’ struggles. New York improved to 20-30 after Friday’s win. The Knicks are 12-18 at home and are two games behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"I can't point the fingers at nobody at the end of the day. I'm the head coach of this team, and somehow, I've got to continue to push this team and get them to make the playoffs," Woodson said. "That's what we're in it for. We're in it to win our division, and that's somewhat slipping away from us right now, but we've still got to push to get in the playoffs."
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2dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer