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This isn’t the first time that Mike Woodson has been under the microscope of the TOK Roundtable. We’ve been calling for his head since the end of November, and were shocked to see him survive the next month too. However, now it seems the question isn’t if he’ll be fired, but when it will happen.
Who will be coaching the Knicks in their first game after the All-Star break?
Joe Caporoso - Woodson hasn’t performed up to task this season but accountability is a rare thing in this organization. At this point, the Knicks are what they are. A team who is going to scrap for the #8 seed and finish well under .500. If they fire Woodson or don’t fire Woodson, that isn’t going to change. I expect the team to wait until after the season to can Woodson and launch a full on search, where we will hear exciting names like Tom Thibodeau but likely end up with somebody nowhere near his caliber. It is difficult to project what this team will be looking for because so much of the roster and front office is in flux. MESSY TIMES!
Chris Celletti - The All-Star Break presents a clear window of opportunity for the Knicks to make a coaching change. But rarely do the Knicks do things when it makes sense to. So there’s a chance that Mike Woodson will still be on the sidelines next Tuesday when the Knicks visit Memphis in their first post-break game. However if the Knicks fall at home to Sacramento tomorrow night, Woodson’s fate could be sealed. Basically, we don’t know what James Dolan is going to do, which is not news.
It wouldn’t shock me at all if the Knicks make a change during the All-Star Break. If I had to make a prediction, Woodson will get
fired re-assigned to an advisory role sometime late in the afternoon on Friday. Despite it being 2014, Dolan likely still believes in burying things in the news, if not for practical reasons then out of spite for the industry he so despises. If he does decide to make the move on Woodson, I do not expect the Knicks to hire an outside candidate to take over for the rest of the season. Rather, I can see one of two people assuming the role of interim coach: Herb Williams (for the third time) or Allan Houston.
Now, it’s often said that Houston is in line to be the next GM, and it’s interesting to note that Dolan’s other major team, the New York Rangers, recently had a similar situation. When the club fired coach John Tortorella after last season, one of the main candidates to take over was former Ranger and franchise legend Mark Messier, who had been in the same GM-in-training role that Houston is in for quite some time. The Rangers eventually passed on Messier – in a rare shrewd, non-Garden like show of intelligence – and he ended up leaving the organization altogether. I have no idea how much input if at all Dolan had on this, but there are similarities. Do the Knicks throw Houston a bone and let him take over the bench for the rest of the year? If he succeeds, do they remove the interim tag and give him the full-time gig next year? This would be the most Knicks thing, ever.
Kevin Smith - The fact that Woodson has lasted this long still baffles me, but something tells me he’ll still be at the helm when the Knicks tip-off against the Grizzlies on February 18th. Woodson will certainly be on a short leash, so if they don’t look like a new team right out of the gate, he won’t last much longer. Right now, he seems to have the support of Carmelo Anthony, who at the moment might have as much power as James Dolan. Things will probably be this way until Melo decides where he wants to play this summer, so with the superstar in his corner, Woodson has the leverage, at least for the time being. I guess you can say that Coach Woodson is Melo’s cup of tea.