Knicks coach “not looking over my shoulder”.
New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson has insisted that he isn’t feeling the pressure after early struggles have left his team with a 1-3 record.
Having finished as the second seed in the Eastern Conference last season with 54 wins, the Knicks have stumbled so far this year as they look to integrate their new players.
Carmelo Anthony has yet to reach the scoring heights of last season while Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, has been serving a suspension.
To add further misery for Woodson, center and defensive anchor Tyson Chandler suffered a fractured fibula this week and is set to be sidelined for four to six weeks.
“I have been at this thing 30 years,” Woodson said in an interview on ESPN New York.
“And the one thing I never and will never do is look over my shoulder. I won’t do that. I got too much pride for that. I think what we have done here for the last few years, we made some major ground and some major steps.
“But this is a different year. That team that played and won 54 games is not here. It is my job as a coach to get this team to gel and play at a high level. If I got to always look over my shoulders, then I can’t do my job, so that is why I never do that. Try to look ahead, that is what is staring at me right now.”
Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace are still in the process of settling in with their new team-mates,while Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin will now have to overcome their own physical problems to deal with increased minutes in Chandler’s absence.
While little of what is happening in New York at this point is the fault of Woodson, it hasn’t stopped the pressure from being put on him to turn things around.
Nevertheless, experts anticipate that he will deal with the issues in his own calm manner, and the Knicks will undoubtedly improve as the season goes on.