Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 3/15/12

Unable to find any other way to stop all the bleeding, Coach Mike D'Antoni resigned from his post with the New York Knicks, ending a three and a half year tenure that has certainly featured its ups and downs.
Much more to come on Knicks Journal's reaction to the move in tomorrow's posts, but for now, let's focus in on how the Mike Woodson era began.
Woodson, the Knicks' new interim head coach, is the man that the team hopes can effectively reel in the cattle in time to make a playoff run. Of course, the former 1980 Knicks draft pick was highly coveted in the beginning of the season to transform the team's defense. Whether or not he can truly solely take credit for the improvements to date, the time is now for him to show if he can lead this talented bunch back into the playoffs.
In Woodson's first game at the helm in the Big Apple, the Knicks let loose and exploded onto the court. With many players taking the hardwood with a chip on their shoulder Wednesday, the team certainly felt they had something to prove.
Because D'Antoni's resignation came only hours before game time, much of what the Knicks did on offense against the Blazers was reminiscent to that of the offense carried out by the former coach. The Knicks shot 50% from down town, connecting on 19 three point field goals. J.R. Smith led the way with 25 points, sinking seven long balls, and Steve Novak added 20 points, connecting on six bombs of his own.
The Knicks took command of the game early, taking advantage of the Blazers' woes. The bench stampeded for a total of 72 points, playing that high-octane, run and gun offense Knicks fans have come to know over much of the last four seasons. That said, the reason the bench was ultimately able to come into the game for so long and capitalize is due to the starting lineup securing a lead.
The first unit's success was propelled by the Knicks' two resident stars, and this is where things only begin to differ between D'Antoni and Woodson. A few isolation plays were indeed run for Carmelo Anthony, as he shot well, on his way to 16 points in just 24 minutes. What's more, along with getting his necessary touches, Anthony helped distribute the ball, dishing out 7 assists. Such fluidity and ball distribution led to Amar'e Stoudemire efficiently pouring in 17 points in limited time as well. As evidenced in tonight's matchup, perhaps allowing Anthony to (even if selfishly) get his touches early will motivate him to spread the floor and move the ball around too.
The Knicks played together Wednesday night, and that's the most important thing. There needs to chemistry and camaraderie amongst the players. Those levels will rise through the roof with a coach who motivates them enough to win. Fluidity on offense, ball distribution, spacing, etc. will all follow and come easy, at that, if the Knicks are in the right state of mind. That said, maybe it took removing a coach the players really liked but ultimately couldn't perform for, to make them realize that.
Whether or not Woodson is the right man to do this in the long run remains to be proven. One thing is for certain, however. Things will be changing with a new voice preaching loudest in the locker room. As evidenced tonight, offensive schemes have the potential to differ as well, with more isolation plays to elevate the likes of Anthony and Smith probable in the future. Having both performed well Tuesday, the former Nuggets teammates put on display a bit of what made them so successful together in Denver.
Baron Davis dished out 10 assists, and Iman Shumpert also added 16 points in the 121-79 victory. The Knicks will look to explore the Woodson era even further Friday as they open up back to back games against the Pacers.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker