Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Opening Tip: Thank Woody for Game 2?
By Ian Begley
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: How much credit does Mike Woodson deserve for the Knicks' Game 2 win?
The conversation about the Knicks on Wednesday will probably center around Carmelo Anthony. And deservedly so. Anthony shot 50 percent from the floor and had 32 big points in the Knicks' pivotal Game 2 win.
Or maybe people will talk about Pablo Prigioni. Prigioni provided a big spark with 10 points, four assists and four rebounds off the bench. The Knicks' defense and rebounding will surely get mentioned.
But what will probably be overlooked in the aftermath of Game 2 is the job Mike Woodson did to get his players ready.
Woodson, to his credit, recognized his team's shortcomings after Game 1.
He then implemented a plan to make sure those shortcomings didn't bite the Knicks again in Game 2.
"We added some things this morning," he said hours before tipoff Tuesday.
Those additions included an emphasis on team rebounding, paint defense, pick-and-roll defense and ball movement going into Game 2.
Clearly, the Knicks got the message. They had 20 assists on 44 makes in Game 2. They also outrebounded Indiana by two after getting outrebounded by 14 in Game 1.
New York did a better job keeping Indiana's guards from the boards in Game 2. George Hill and Lance Stephenson combined for 18 rebounds in Game 1 but had just six between them in Game 2.
The extra rebounding helped the Knicks limit Indy's second-chance points. The Pacers had just eight after getting 20 in Game 1. The Knicks had 29 second-chance points in Game 2. New York also outscored the Pacers 52-40 in the paint.
"We didn’t want to go down 0-2," Kenyon Martin said. "We had a greater sense of urgency."
They also had a better game plan, thanks to Woodson.
Question: How much credit does Mike Woodson deserve for the Knicks' Game 2 win?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.