While there are plenty of fans frustrated with Mike Woodson he is as equally frustrated with his team. The New York Knicks have been showing little hustle, fundamentals or professionalism lately and that is a reflection on their coach. While Woodson has the respect of the locker room he hasn't gotten the same kind of results out of his players as he was in the beginning of the year. Woodson has seen enough to know he's seen too much.
Professionals work through problems. Things aren't always going to be pretty but professionals keep their heads down and their nose to the grind stone to make things right. However, after a blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers frustration has blown over on the court and in the New York Knicks locker room. Even head coach Mike Woodson is beginning to lose his cool.
The Knicks are 1-4 in their last five games, including a disgraceful loss at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks have surrendered 112.9 points per 100 possession in those five games. That's 9.5 points worse than their season average and second worst in the NBA in that five game stretch.
The frustrated has led to stupid plays highlighted by J.R. Smith's near fight with Lance Stephenson of the Pacers. That resulted in Smith being ejected in the second half of the game. However, he was far from the only offender. Raymond Felton received a technical foul after throwing an elbow. Amare Stoudemire also got a technical after arguing with officials, an argument you can never win.
One thing is for sure, as good as they are on the court the Knicks have proven to be mentally weak. They complain too much and can't keep their cool when games become physical.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Woodson and his staff are becoming very frustrated with his roster.
Asked if he had spoken to Smith about his behavior, an angry Woodson said: “I’m not happy about how we played and how we carried ourselves professionally on the basketball court. We can’t do that. I’m not going to tolerate that. I’m just not.’’
GM Glen Grunwald too has a level of frustration but is hoping the veteran laden team will focus.
“We have a veteran team,’’ general manager Glen Grunwald said. “They know where they need to improve. Keeping composure is one of the things they all talked about postgame. They’re aware of what they need to do.’’
Carmelo Anthony is not happy with what's going on.
Anthony, who berated Smith on the court after his Stephenson tiff, said the club realizes it did wrong in every way Wednesday.
“I’ve seen guys today, guys were angry,’’ Anthony said. “Not angry but kind of upset. As a team we let ourselves down. It was kind of an embarrassment.’’
If these Knicks are going to play deep into the playoffs and have the chance to compete for a title they are going to have to win the mental game as well as the physical game. They can't be afraid to rough other teams up. They can't afford to look like they can be bullied. Most of all, they can't lose their cool when things aren't going their way.
Those are things that losing teams do, not first place teams. The good news is there's lots of time left in the season. The bad news is there's plenty of time for them to fall apart if they don't start acting like professionals. Let's hope this team starts acting like the veterans they are and not prove to be weak minded.
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