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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Knicks lose again as Mike Woodson forgets to call timeout

Mike WoodsonThe New York Knicks lost another close game on Monday night, and this was one of the worst of the year for head coach Mike Woodson. The Knicks and Wizards battled back and forth throughout the entire fourth quarter, with Washington taking a 102-101 lead on a go-ahead layup with 6.9 seconds remaining. When the basket was made, New York still had three timeouts remaining.

Rather than using one of those timeouts to advance the ball to half court on the ensuing possession, the Knicks inbounded the ball and allowed Carmelo Anthony to dribble up the court. He forced an off-balance 3-pointer that ended up nowhere close and New York’s record dropped to 7-17. After the game, Woodson admitted he should have used a timeout.

“I probably should have taken the timeout at the end,” he said, via Marc Berman of the NY Post. “Beno (Udrih) grabbed it and the ball was in Melo’s hands before I could even react and I should have reacted a lot sooner once the ball went through, so that is on me.”

Anyone could have called a timeout, but it’s usually the coach who does so in that situation. JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony both acknowledged after the game that the players could have called the timeout themselves.

“I think we were expecting a timeout,” Anthony said.. “I think everything happened so fast. I don’t know if we were supposed to call a timeout. We didn’t. It was a tough loss, tough way to lose a game. We’re shocked how we lost the game.”

To make matters worse, the Knicks had a foul to give when they allowed Bradley Beal to turn an easy layup into the eventual game-winner. Udrih had very little rest after starting point guard Pablo Prigioni left the game with a fractured toe early in the third quarter. Beal was able to take the game over following Prigioni’s injury, and Woodson said he blew by Prigioni so quickly that Prigioni couldn’t give the foul.

“He was thinking the help was there, but it wasn’t there so he couldn’t even reach to grab the guy to take the foul,” the coach said. “We all knew we had a foul to give, but we didn’t and I have to take the timeout.”

Anthony defended Woodson, saying the players should have known they had a foul to give and also should have called a timeout.

“I thought we did everything right to give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Carmelo said. “It fell through. If [Woodson] said it’s his fault, it’s his fault. No reason to make excuses. But as players we have to be smart enough to know it as well. We knew we had a timeout. We knew we had a foul to give and can’t leave it on Coach.”

There is nothing Woodson can do about guys who miss shots and make physical mistakes. But ultimately, it is his job to make sure his players are aware of the situation. Knicks owner James Dolan has to be growing more irritated by the day. It’s starting to look like Woodson has little chance of surviving the season.



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