Woodson rips Knicks' effort
January, 27, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesMike Woodson will try to put this loss behind him when the Knicks host Atlanta Sunday evening.PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Woodson was just like any Knick fan forced to watch his team's awful outing against the Philadelphia 76ers: absolutely disgusted.
"We just didn’t have any effort tonight. It started right from the beginning -- layup after layup," Woodson said after the Knicks' 97-80 loss in Philadelphia. "We didn’t come to compete tonight, and that’s kind of disappointing."
It was a rare display of public frustration from the Knicks coach. But he had every right to be upset.
The Knicks came out flat on offense and disinterested on defense.
"We just can't have nights like that," Woodson said. "That's not us."
Woodson's club shot 34.6 percent against the Sixers -- missing plenty of quality looks. Making matters worse, the Knicks -- who allowed 31 points in the third quarter -- were torched by newly minted All-Star Jrue Holiday (career-high 35 points), and fell behind by as many as 29 points in the second half.
"Tonight we didn’t have it," Carmelo Anthony said after missing 19 of 28 shots, one of the biggest reasons the Knicks (26-15) "didn't have it" on Saturday.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesCarmelo Anthony
"All across the board -- offensively, defensively, from an effort standpoint -- we just didn’t have it tonight."
Raymond Felton's long-awaited return didn't do much to spark the Knicks, who have lost five of eight.
Playing for the first time since fracturing his right pinkie finger on Dec. 25, Felton was out of synch and a step slow, which was to be expected.
He scored eight points on 2-for-8 shooting and had three assists, two steals and two turnovers in 29 minutes.
Holiday torched Felton for 10 first-quarter points. Felton switched on to Nick Young to open the second half. Young proceeded to score 10 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter as the Sixers took control.
But it wasn't all on Felton.
The Knicks missed 12 straight field goals over a seven-minute stretch in the third, allowing Philly to build a 29-point lead.
So there was plenty of blame to go around.
"It wasn’t just Raymond. Across the board we were awful -- coaches, everybody," Woodson said.
The Knicks shot a mind-numbing 4-for-27 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 16 times, an uncharacteristically high number for a team that prides itself on ball control.
Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith combined to shoot 0-for-17. Woodson called Smith's shooting slump (he's missed 21 of his last 24) a major concern.
An even bigger concern?
Kidd did not have an assist in 15 minutes, and Woodson sent him to the locker room in the fourth quarter to get treatment on his balky back.
But the most alarming thing coming out of the Knicks locker room on Saturday night was the team's admitted lack of effort.
How can a team hopeful of making a deep playoff run come out flat on the road against a division opponent?
"I don't know. I can't answer that," Tyson Chandler said. "[Effort] should never be a question. It should be X's and O's and missed shots and execution -- never an effort thing."
Added Anthony: "That’s a great question. I wish I knew the answer to that one. It’s kind of hard to answer that question."
Hard question to answer. Harder game to watch.