Even by the New York Knicks’ standards, things really couldn’t get much worse. There was Monday night’s one-point loss to the Washington Wizards that featured a poor bit of coaching by Mike Woodson and then, on Tuesday, there was dispiriting news about the condition of Amar’e Stoudemire’s knee.
Stoudemire, Woodson told reporters, has a swollen knee and is “going to be out a while.”
It’s just another blow to a team that fell to 7-17, after a win slipped away Monday. With the Knicks up by a point with 24 seconds left and a foul to give, the team let Bradley Beal drive for an uncontested layup with 6.9 seconds left. At that point, Woodson made a mistake that had New Yorkers calling for him to be fired. He did not call timeout — and had three of them. Carmelo Anthony’s 25-footer fell short and that was that.
“I probably should have taken a timeout there at the end, but you know, Beno [Udrih] grabbed it [to inbound] and the ball is in Melo’s hands before I could even react, and I should have reacted a lot sooner once the ball went through the bucket. So, that’s on me,” Woodson said. “…I didn’t call the timeout so I’ve got to take the heat for that.”
Did he ever. Anthony defended Woodson from any notion that he might be in full Mike “Fire Me” Shanahan mode in the hours before dueling tabloid headlines (“I Blew It” vs. “Waste of Time”) hit the streets.
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s secure right now. I haven’t heard anything,” Anthony said. “There’s nothing to discuss. He’s our coach, and we’re rolling with him.”
Still, as ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor put it, “Mike Woodson finally gave his employer a credible reason to fire him.”