Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Opening Tip: Woody to blame?
By Ian Begley
If you ask Kenyon Martin, Mike Woodson's coaching isn't the problem for the 3-13 Knicks.
"The man does an excellent job with us. It's not on him," Martin said. "We're just not getting it done on the court, so it's on us."
There's merit to what Martin says.
Woodson hasn't had his best defensive player for three weeks. His point guard has been playing at less than 100 percent. But Woodson also has made his fair share of questionable moves:
1. The coach has gone away from using the two-point guard lineup the Knicks had so much success with last season. Instead, he's used Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith at shooting guard alongside Raymond Felton in a more traditional backcourt.
Last season, the Knicks were 15-1 in the regular season when Pablo Prigioni and Felton started in the backcourt. This season, Felton and Prigioni have played just 74 of a possible 768 minutes.
That's one reason the Knicks entered play Wednesday ranked 24th in offensive efficiency.
2. Woodson also hasn't found the proper scheme to slow down opponents' pick-and-rolls.
Whether coaches are instructing players to do so or not, the Knicks have switched extensively on pick-and-roll plays throughout the season. And it's hurt them.
According to ESPN Stats & Information's Deontay Q. Morris, New York ranked 20th in points allowed per play on the pick-and-roll (0.90) entering play Monday. Woodson's crew also ranked 17th in opponent field goal percentage on the pick-and-roll (43.1 percent).
Those struggles have led to open looks all over the floor for Knicks opponents. Entering play Wednesday, New York ranked 27th in defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) and 19th in opponent field goal percentage.
All of this leads us to our question for Wednesday morning: How much blame do you think Woodson deserves for the Knicks' slow start?