Mike Woodson Anchoring More than Defense

By Jerald Levon Hoover BASN Staff Writer
Updated: April 9, 2012

Is coach Woodson and Carmelo headed for the playoffs?

Is coach Woodson and Carmelo headed for the playoffs?

NEW YORK, NY (BASN – Coach Woodson came to New York during the NBA’s extended off (lockout) season and was supposed to be the defensive coach. Thus far, he has been that and some. With Coach Mike D’Antoni running the show, Woodson’s defensive schemes made the Knicks much more respectable. But, one must not forget and overlook the additions of center Tyson Chandler (how’s that ‘the Knicks should’ve gone for a guard first’ comment coming along now Isiah Thomas?) and rookie Iman Schumpert. They’re defensive mentality has made knicks fans remember the days of Charles Oakley and Derek Harper.

Even though D’Antoni allowed Woodson to flex his muscle on the defensive end, there was still a stigma on the Knicks that they just didn’t defend well enough to be taken seriously. But, since D’Antoni stepped down as Knick coach and Woodson took over, he has made the Knicks almost a flashback of those 90’s Knicks. Woodson has been constantly in the Knicks players head about playing lockdown, believing and covering for each other type of defense.

D’Antoni seemingly was the wrong type of coach for these parts for a variety of reasons. New York fans chants of “De-Fense!” means something when there is a key stop. Iman Shumpert: “It was like when you got stops or made big shots, you felt everybody jump. It was weird to see, just everybody jump at the same time. I’ve never been in a building like that.”

Sure at the end of the day, in order to be declared the winner of the game your teams score has to be higher than the other teams score. But, New York fans don’t want to win games, especially in regulation 125-122. Under D’Antoni, if the Knicks would’ve given up 35 points in the first quarter (as they did recently on the road in Indiana) they would have given up 70 points by halftime. However, instead of that happening, the Knicks made adjustments at the end of the first quarter and allowed the Pacers to score only 16 points. In fact the Knicks went on a defensive run and only allowed the Pacers to score only 37 points the entire second half. The Knicks eventually won the game 102-88. That game also showed the rest of the NBA (especially in the second of a home and home) that the Knicks were serious about defense.

The Knicks now currently 2 games over 500 at 29-27 after a thrilling 100-99 overtime win over the Derrick Rose led Chicago Bulls. Chandler was impressed with the atmosphere. “It was incredible. Incredible. The Garden was pumping.” It was a Playoff atmosphere from the start to finish.

Carmelo Anthony had an extended breakout game against the Bulls hitting a game tying 3 in regulation and a game winning 3-point shot with Luol Deng’s hand tickling his face as he released it: “This is my house.” Melo yelled out! Since both Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin went down with injuries, Melo has been averaging a cool 30 points per game. It’s safe to say, heeeeeeee’s back!

You can follow Jerald on Twitter at JerryHoover65