Michael Garcia - March 22, 2012
The New York Knicks' wildly up and down season is on another upswing, after notching their fourth straight win under interim coach Mike Woodson. Woodson took over for Mike D'Antoni, who stepped down a week ago. Since the change, the Knicks have blown out everyone the've played.
The Knicks smoked Portland 121-79 in Woodson's first game. They followed that up beating by Indiana by 15 and 14 in back-to-back nights. Last night, New York breezed by Toronto 106-87. The Knicks have regained the 8th seed in the playoff race, but whether or not they can keep it will start getting tested tonight against Atlantic division leader Philadelphia.
As is often the case in pro sports when a coach is fired, the team responds with some quick wins. Maybe the players want to prove it wasn't their fault they were losing, and that is was more the coach's fault. Maybe a slight change in philosophy was all the team really needed. Whatever the case, the Knicks have shown a new life and a passion for defense that was lacking under D'Antoni.
When Woodson took over, it was reported by the New York media that phenom Jeremy Lin wouldn't be a major part of his plans. Lin scored 18 and added 10 assists in the win over Toronto, so perhaps that was a bit premature. It might have also been premature to declare the death of 'Linsanity.'
The Knicks only face two teams above .500 in their next five games after tonight's matchup with Philadelphia. They could remain hot and keep building on their hot start under Woodson. But one or two tough losses could send them into a spiral.
Most of this season with the Knicks, you never knew which version of the team was going to show up each night. Woodson may have finally changed that.
Article by Eric Gray
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