Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, and follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.
What mid-season changes should the Knicks make?
Joe Caporoso - The Mike Woodson firing is coming at some point, right? I’m not sure if that makes a radical change on the Knicks production but I suppose it won’t hurt either. I wouldn’t be shocked to eventually see some type of trade consummated (will the Knicks get lured back in for Kyle Lowry?). It sounds like we are going to see more small ball moving forward, along with maybe Toure Murry getting some run. Ultimately, the Knicks can make a few minor tweaks but their core isn’t changing any time soon. The best we can hope for is slight improvement and sneaking in the playoffs in the putrid Eastern Conference.
Chris Celletti - I feel like we’re just biding time until Mike Woodson’s seemingly-inevitable departure. And it’s probably for the best. Even prior to TIMEOUTGATE, Woodson’s poor coaching has cost the Knicks games this season. It’s true that he hasn’t had a full deck to play with, but he also didn’t at almost any point last season, and the Knicks won 54 games. And while there’s no doubt the players are heavily to blame, you can’t get rid of all of them, so the coach likely will, and should, take the fall. I won’t speculate on a replacement right now, because I think the Knicks would just hand things over to Darrell Walker or Herb Williams for the remainder of the season and then do a full search in the offseason. Outside of changing the coach, the Knicks just need to get healthy. While that’s not really a “change”, getting their top players back, especially Tyson Chandler, will help immensely. The Knicks’ offense will have their best pick-and-roll finisher back, and the defense will have it’s best player back. In the weak Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division, they’ll probably hang around the playoff picture.
Kevin Smith - I’m about as lenient of a basketball fan as you’ll find, but at this point, Mike Woodson has to go. He probably should have been gone before the Washington game ever happened, and although I don’t blame him completely for the collapse, the chaotic ending is a bad reflection on the coaching. It appears the newfound defensive mentality he preached has lost it’s luster and Woodson has lost the team. The 2013-14 New York Knicks may not be as good as last season’s team, but certainly they’re better than 7-17, even without their biggest defensive factor. There aren’t any suitable replacements for the time being, but it’s worth a shot to see if the team will respond to a different voice because Tone Loc’s isn’t cutting it anymore. It may not be fair, but it’s what has to happen.
Aaron Jacobs – Forgetting to call a timeout with 6.2 seconds left on the clock to advance the ball, not playing an able bodied 24-year-old point guard, insisting on playing a veteran (J.R. Smith) when a rookie (Tim Hardaway Jr.) is shooting way better, these are just a few of the amazingly stupid things Mike Woodson has done this season. He needs to be fired after his latest stint in taking a subtle shot at Carmelo Anthony by saying something to the extent of ‘Joe Johnson didn’t need timeout in Atlanta during those crunch time moments.’ The Knicks roster, while having it’s flaws at certain positions, is not 7-17 bad, at worst they should be a .500 basketball team in my opinion, but that’s neither here nor there.
After firing Woodson, the Knicks then need to seriously address the point guard position. I love how hard Raymond Felton plays, but injuries and lack of skill (specifically defensively) means that his time as New York’s starting point guard are finished. The Knicks are the worst perimeter defensive team in the league by far, they don’t defend the three point line and always count on switches and help defense to bail them out when opposing guards blow by to the rim. Without Tyson Chandler these past 5 weeks we’ve all watched the consequences of poor perimeter play and even his return won’t fix the fact that the Knicks don’t have a guy, besides Iman Shumpert, that is willing to play stingy defense on the perimeter. Problem is Iman Shumpert isn’t hitting shots, so “coach” Woodson sticks with J.R. Smith choosing to go offense over defense, yet another terrible move on his part during late game stretches.