I don't want to be the typical Knick fan kneejerk reactor. It's only a few games. However, there is more than just added energy that is allowing us to win these games. The critics just want to say that because they look like ***** for blaming it all on our star players. If you can't see there's a different defensive philosophy then you don't know much about the game of basketball. It's more than just playing harder. The way we hedge and fight screens, the way we only switch if it's necessary, the way our front court communicates to the back court like linebackers, the way we play to individual players' weaknesses, our players guarding their appropriate positions... all that and more has made us a better defensive team.
My dad called it perfectly. He said the next coach who comes in after D'Antoni is going to look like a genius in his 1st couple of games because a lot of our problems could be dramatically changed by even a decent head coach.
Good post Franchize, and I think I will take this opportunity to officially take some things back I've said about Woodson too.
I have always viewed him to be a defensive mind, mainly because of Larry Brown, but I actually thought he was a stubborn in his ways as D'antoni was.
Woodson makes adjustments....in game.
He didn't do that with the Hawks, they played the same way every game, and constantly switched on defense, and as much as he may deny there was an "iso-Joe" offense, he knows deep down it was, and I was completely concerned about that, when he took over.
Now, true enough, our offense still looks suspect, but that's primarily due to the offensive sets haven't been revamped yet, just a few tweaks, and a new focus on defense creating offense.
Woodson is earning my respect as each game goes by.
1) Portland.....even in massive blowout win, Woodson got in his guys on sportmanship....ex JR Smith, Iman Shumpert.
2)Indy..... back to back...having the team focused with a purpose to take the game early, and once again had to grill players for not playing the right way...ex Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin.
3)Philly.....adjustments were abound in this game.
Philly said "NO Novak Tonite", went small with basically Brand in the post with Iggy as the four.
Woodson made the adjustments needed even to the point of having to bench our best post defender, even after Jeffries went down.
He kept Amar'e on the block, with trust, and he delivered big time.
He also trusted his backcourt down the stretch, and they came up great as well.
Woodson knows this team has offensive talent, and they'll find a way to score, but he knows that winning games will be easier if defense is the engine.
Yea I have to say I'm not 100% sold he's the coach of the future but I like his approach. Make adjustments and if something is working, don't change it until they stop it. Some coaches are stubborn, especially veteran coaches. This is why there's a youth movement in the coaching world now. With all the technology and scouting reports and books being written on coaches, you have to be willing to make adjustments an switch things up. If I'm a young head coach, and I grew up following D'antoni's coaching, or Phil Jackson or whoever; If I read books about their coaching style, I'm not going to play a game against on of their teams and lose to that style. Im going to make them beat me another way.
I was watching Syracuse vs Wisconsin last night. Syracuse is by far more talented than Wisconsin. However, especially in the NCAA tournament, it's a lot about who can get hot from 3. Jim Boeheim is an all time great but that game could have been won so muhc easier. He REFUSES to come out of that 2-3 zone. It's the reason Syracuse has only been to one elite 8 since Melo was there. You HAVE to be willing to adjust. Wisconsin was terrible from inside the arc but they made 14 3's and it kept them in the game. The ball is always going to be faster than the defense. You can't stay in a 2-3 all game against a team that is deadly form 3 and can pass the ball.