The New York Knicks suffered one of their most painful losses of the season on Tuesday night when they mismanaged the clock in the final seconds of the game. After the Washington Wizards took a one-point lead with 6.9 seconds remaining, the Knicks chose not to use one of their three remaining timeouts to advance the ball to half court. Carmelo Anthony settled for a wild 3-point attempt that was nowhere close.
After the game, head coach Mike Woodson admitted he messed up and should have called timeout. However, he seemed to defend himself a bit more on Tuesday. Woodson told reporters that when he coached the Atlanta Hawks, Joe Johnson had been able to execute that play without a timeout.
“I’m going to be honest. I’ve let games go like that,” Woodson said, via Marc Berman of the NY Post. “In Atlanta, I let a couple of games where I didn’t call a timeout because they weren’t set. We threw it in and Joe Johnson was able to dribble down and hit a winning shot. Was I thinking that at the time? Well, when Beno [Udrih] stepped out and Melo begged for it and he threw it to him, I didn’t stop the play. I let it go on. I should’ve called a timeout, taking it out of their hands and advance the basketball [to halfcourt], but I didn’t.”
Maybe I’m reading into it too much, but it seems like Woodson was trying to blame Carmelo by pointing out that he “begged” for the ball. He sounds like a coach who is claiming he wanted to give his superstar a chance to make a play without interrupting him.
In Woodson’s defense, Anthony and JR Smith both acknowledged after the loss that the players were just as responsible for not calling a timeout. Still, it seems ridiculous to allow a player to dribble all the way up the court with 6.9 seconds left when you have the ability to advance the ball to half court. It doesn’t matter how many times Joe Johnson has executed the play in his career.Google+