By, Max Marcilla – Knickswag Contributor
Knicks 80 Clippers 93
After losing the first three games on the west coast trip, the injury-plagued Knicks were looking to turn around their struggles and get a momentum-shifting win against one of the best teams in the league, the Los Angeles Clippers. After a great shooting start that propelled the Knicks to a 13-5 lead, the Knicks fell flat offensively, as they ended up with 37 first half points. While their defense was stellar in the first half, forcing 10 Clipper turnovers and holding the Clippers to 44 points in the 1st half, despite their above 50% shooting.
The third quarter was a whole different story from both sides. Los Angeles came alive offensively, scoring 28 points, and the Knicks offense continued their ice-cold stretch, eventually icing the game for a NY comeback.
There were many problems in the third quarter offensively and defensively. First off, our line-ups were awful. In Coach Mike Woodson’s defense, the reigning defensive player of the year Tyson Chandler was out. However, a majority of the third quarter consisted of Steve Novak, Kenyon Martin or Chris Copeland guarding Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The third quarter showed why the Clippers are referred to as ‘Lob City’ as alley-oops and dunks were consistently being made over the Knicks undersized “Big Men.”
With the Clippers dominating the glass and the paint, the Knicks faded, resulting in the game being controlled by Los Angeles. I realize a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but I believe Mike Woodson is losing the team. Well OK maybe not the team, but some of the fans.
First off, Woodson has been in the middle of “media” heat over the line-ups and rotations. When Jason Kidd was struggling, Woodson yanked him out of the line-up, which was a decision that I agreed with. However, he replaced him with James White, who didn’t perform at all, and soon he got removed from the line-up.
Secondly, it looks like Woodson doesn’t let the game determine his decisions, in contrast he has pre-meditated decisions in his head. For example, Chris Copeland got off to a great shooting start, but with six minutes left, he and Iman Shumpert were removed from the game for Jason Kidd and J.R Smith. However, what Coach Woodson failed to do is reinsert Copeland back into the game, even though he was the only productive Knick on offense and with the Knicks struggling to score he was the perfect fit. Smith shot 0-5 to start, but he stayed in while Copeland got cold on the bench.
Lastly, today’s game (excluding the third quarter) was a showcase of how much potential the Knicks have defensively, but the first three games of the road trip showed how poorly we could play defensively. Somehow, Coach Woodson is known as a defensive coach, but without a good offense to back up New York’s inconsistent defense, there is no chance for the Knicks to win. Numerous times, the Knicks offense has struggled due to a lack of creativity by Woodson, leaving Melo and Smith in isolation, even during poor shooting nights.
In my opinion, if we lose tomorrow night by double digits again, the Mike Woodson hot seat will start, not only on Twitter, but also from the media.
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