Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Knicks [Print without images]

Monday, February 10, 2014
Opening Tip: Knicks better without Woody?

By Ian Begley

As ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst points out in this column, when you’re talking about Mike Woodson, it feels like his firing is more a question of “when” and not “if” at this point.

Woodson could be let go on Monday. He could be let go later this week. Or he could be fired after the end of the season. But it feels inevitable that he won't be coaching this team next season.

If Steve Mills and the Knicks choose to let Woodson go during the season, they have to ask themselves if the team is better off with an interim replacement.

It sure worked out well for New York in 2012, when Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni and the Knicks finished the regular season at 18-6.

But the Knicks don’t have a proven coach among their current crop of assistants who could be elevated to interim status.

Darrell Walker and Jim Todd both have head coaching experience but are widely viewed as too close to Woodson to take over as interim head coaches. And the Knicks are unlikely to lure a big-name coach in midseason to take over the team.

So that leaves organization stalwarts such as Herb Williams, Allan Houston or -- as a long shot -- Larry Johnson.

If you’re Jim Dolan or Mills, you have to wonder if the team is better off taking orders from Williams, Houston or Johnson than they are from Woodson.

Will Iman Shumpert suddenly find his shot under a new coach? Will Ray Felton play with more consistency if a new voice is given a chance? Will the Knicks as a whole defend the perimeter and paint better if someone else is holding the clipboard?

Up now: Kevin Durant and the Thunder handed the Knicks their fourth loss in the last five games. Durant had 41 and finished one assist shy of a triple-double.

Jeff Van Gundy defends the embattled Woodson and suggests that he should just focus on coaching and nothing else during these trying times.

Metta World Peace played just one minute against the Thunder. Should Mike Woodson increase his minutes?

What’s next: The Knicks will have two days to prepare for Wednesday’s game against Sacramento.

Question: Do you think the Knicks would improve drastically if they fired Mike Woodson?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.