Carmelo Anthony didn't mince words when talking about Wednesday's Knicks-Kings game.
"We gotta win. We gotta win tomorrow. We have to win. There’s nothing more than that. We have to win," Anthony said after practice Tuesday.
The Knicks are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and are 11 games below .500. They're two games out of the final playoff spot in the East. So most games from here until the end of the season will take on a "must-win" feel.
But Wednesday's game is different. The Knicks are playing one of the eight NBA teams with a poorer record than theirs (Knicks are 20-31), so they have every reason to believe they'll win the game. And a victory could give New York some positive momentum heading into All-Star Weekend. It could also inch the Knicks closer to a playoff spot.
"We have no room for error," Mike Woodson said Tuesday. "[A win] still keeps us in the hunt in terms of where we're trying to get as a team. That eighth, seventh and sixth spot is all bunched together."
That's true. What's less clear is how a win or loss Wednesday would affect Woodson's job status.
The Knicks' loss to lowly Milwaukee last Monday brought fresh rounds of media speculation that Woodson will be fired. One report stated the Knicks have plans to let him go by the trade deadline. Another said Woodson thinks he's going to be let go by the All-Star break.
Woodson has said in recent days that he is confident that he will be the head coach after the All-Star break.
A win Wednesday would seem to give Woodson some breathing room, but anything is possible around the Knicks. It's also worth noting that winning games didn't do much to help Maurice Cheeks. The Pistons fired Cheeks on Sunday after Detroit beat the Nets and Nuggets.
For what it's worth, Woodson reiterated Tuesday that he's focused on guiding the Knicks to the playoffs -- not losing his job.
"I still have a job to do. And that's not going to change," Woodson said in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show.
"Like I mentioned yesterday, my preparation, I've come to work happy about being the head coach of the Knicks. And I push my coaching staff, I push myself to try and be better every single day. And the players come in and are ready to go to work. Our job is to make sure that we're prepared and they're prepared when they step out on the floor. That's not ever going to change ... I'm going to try to do the best job that I can possibly do."
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