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Monday, December 9, 2013
Felton backs Woodson: 'We want him here'

By Ian Begley

Some fans will surely be calling for Mike Woodson's job if the Knicks lose to Cleveland on Tuesday.

But Raymond Felton doesn't think firing Woodson is the right call -- particularly in the middle of the season.

"We want him here. We love him as a coach, and he's a great guy, so we definitely don't want to have to deal with a new person coming in, not knowing what to expect," Felton said on Wednesday while meeting with members of the NYC Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in conduction with the NBA's Give Big initiative.

Felton is fiercely loyal to Woodson. He doesn't think it's wise to bring in a new coach for several reasons. For one, Felton thinks it would be tough to adjust to a new voice while the team is struggling.

"When you're down right now, you'd like to have a person that you understand and you know and try to work at it together," the point guard said. "That's a decision I don't make. I hope it doesn't happen. I really don't. Everybody else in the locker room feels the same way.

"If it was up to us, we'll say 'No, let's figure this thing out together.'"

There was speculation last week that Woodson would be fired if the Knicks lost to the Brooklyn Nets. They entered the game with an NBA worst 3-13 record.

Woodson earned some breathing room with wins over the Nets and Magic last week. But questions over his job security arose again Sunday after the Knicks (4-15) were blown out by Boston.

Woodson is under contract for next season, but many that isn't likely to impede owner James Dolan if he wants to make a change.

Injuries 'hinder' Felton: Felton has been dealing with shooting pain in his hip for the past month.

He doesn't want to use the injury as an excuse, but he said last week that it is affecting his lateral movement and speed off the dribble.

"Once you step on the court, there's no excuses," Felton said last Wednesday. "If your hip or your leg is hindering you moving laterally, then it is what it is. If it's hindering you on the extra quick first step that you normally have, then it is what it is.

"The shooting pain is still there at times even when I walk -- I'm just at the point now that it is what it is. There's no time to complain … I'm trying to block it out out of my head, even when it hits me, I'm just trying to ignore it."

Felton missed four games in late November due to the injury.

Since coming back from the injury, he's averaged 9.8 points and 5.5 points assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the field.

He was asked if he'd consider sitting out to let the injury heal.

"This is not the time to sit out," he said. "I need to be there for my teammates."

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