Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Opening Tip: Second half begins
By Matt Ehalt
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson isn't counting the Knicks out despite a 15-26 record.
"We have 41 games left. Is it too late to still make a push? No. Absolutely not," Woodson said Tuesday. "Somehow we got to draw the line because we got six home games coming up that I think every game is winnable for our ballclub if we make the commitment on the defensive end first, rebounding the basketball as a unit and offensively sharing the basketball. That's how we have won games."
The Knicks kick off the second half of their season Wednesday when they host the 76ers at Madison Square Garden. As Woodson said, the Knicks have six straight home games to open the second half, as Philadelphia is the third game in an eight-game homestand. The Knicks will also host the Bobcats, Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers and Heat. Only two of those teams are currently in the playoffs.
After a five-game win streak, the Knicks lost four straight, including the first two of the homestand. Despite this rough stretch, entering Tuesday's games, the Knicks were just two games out of the final spot in the Eastern Conference. Woodson wants the Knicks to play the way they were during the winning streak.
"It starts tomorrow. We can't keep making excuses," Woodson said. "The bottom line is we have to play harder and smarter to win."
Center Tyson Chandler said the Knicks need to come together in the second half, and address the problems that have plagued the team both offensively and defensively. Chandler said the team addressed those issues during their practice Tuesday, one day after their embarrassing 103-80 loss to the Nets.
"That’s the only way things change. You have to be honest with ourselves and we have to make adjustments," Chandler said.