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#NBArank: Woody 28th-best coach

4/4/2014

ESPN.com has ranked the NBA's head coaches from worst to first.

The Knicks didn't fare too well.

ESPN's Forecast Panel ranked Knicks head coach Mike Woodson 28th out of 30 head coaches. Woodson came in ahead of just Milwaukee's Larry Drew and Detroit's John Loyer.

It's been a disappointing season for Woodson and the Knicks. Owner James Dolan told Woodson and his staff prior to the season opener that he felt the Knicks could win a championship. Instead, the Knicks find themselves 10 games below .500 with six games remaining.

New York is percentage points ahead of the Hawks in the race for eighth place in the East -- not exactly where Woodson envisioned things at the start of the season. The coach has been criticized for his inability to find a productive lineup for the first four months of the season. He's also been knocked for his players' poor basketball IQ, which has resulted in several ugly losses and head-scratching, late-game execution.

Give Woodson credit for this, though: He has the Knicks playing well over the past three weeks.

New York has won 12 of 15 to surge up the standings in the East. On March 3, the Knicks had lost seven straight and were 6 ½ games back of eighth-place Atlanta. Tonight, if they beat Washington, and Atlanta loses to Cleveland, they can move one game ahead of the Hawks with five to play.

Woodson, who led the Knicks to 54 wins and their first playoff series win in 13 seasons, is under contract through next year. But he is expected to be replaced in the offseason. Many predict new president Phil Jackson will bring in a coach with whom he has a relationship, and one who has an intimate knowledge of Jackson's triangle offense. Steve Kerr has been the candidate mentioned most often.

For what it's worth, we think that Woodson deserves to be ranked higher than Utah's Tyron Corbin and Cleveland's Mike Brown, at the least.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.