Another Melo-Less Win For The Knicks Proves Value Of Woodson, Defense

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Carmelo Anthony‘s MVP campaign took a hit on Wednesday when the New York Knicks proved for the third time this season that they can win without him. At the same time, Mike Woodson‘s Coach of the Year campaign got a boost.

No, a last-second victory in Phoenix isn’t as impressive as as a blowout win in Miami. But it’s another example of how Woodson is keeping his team on track no matter who is in the lineup.

On Wednesday, the Knicks weren’t just without Anthony, who suffered a hyperextended left knee in Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers. They were also without Raymond Felton, who broke his pinky in L.A. and could be out 4-6 weeks. Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Rasheed Wallace also continued to sit.

J.R. Smith was the hero against the Suns, while Jason Kidd (23 points, six rebounds and eight assists) was the leader he’s been all year. But the Knicks were in the game because of defense, which is the most encouraging sign for Woodson’s team.

After a strong start defensively, the Knicks allowed 106.4 points per 100 possessions over a 15-game stretch between Nov. 21 and Dec. 17, when they got scorched by the Rockets for the second time. Though they couldn’t stop the Bulls last Friday or the Lakers on Christmas, their defense has been strong in their last three wins (over Brooklyn, Minnesota and Phoenix).

Felton hasn’t exactly been consistent this season, but overall, the Knicks’ offense has been better with him on the floor. So, without their point guard, the Knicks may have to get more defensive over the next few weeks if they want to maintain their spot behind the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference standings. The good news is that they’ve been better defensively with Felton on the bench.

Of course, Stoudemire’s eventual return throws a big wrinkle into anything the Knicks do with or without Felton. It has already been written here that Woodson’s Coach of the Year campaign will hinge on how the Knicks do once Stoudemire is back.

Still, another win without Anthony (who may or may not play Friday in Sacramento) is another notch on Woodson’s belt. And defensively, it was another step forward for the Knicks.

22 Comments

  1. Jay Boogie says:

    Carmelo’s MVP campaign took a hit because they beat the Suns in a Buzzer Beater?

    The Knicks could survive a game here and there without Melo but NOT multiple games in succession.

    They are 4-2 without Melo and this deems a hit to his MVP campaign?

  2. C2 says:

    The article is ridiculous insinuating Melo’s MVP campaign takes a hit. Yea but the Miami win was impressive, but they barely beat Cleveland & Phoenix, two of the worst teams in the league, by a combined 3 points w/o Melo.

    Y’all don’t think the Thunder could go on a 3-2 w/o Durant, I do & they’ve done it before.

    Y’all don’t think Miami could go on a 3-2 w/o Lebron, I do.

    Lebron in Cleveland is the only MVP in recent times where the team falls off a cliff w/o him on the floor.

  3. DS says:

    Woodson has successfully turned Melo into a HAPPY defender. He’s successfully turned J.R. into a 6th Man Monster who is HAPPY coming off the bench. He’s on the verge of successfully turning Amare into HAPPY second or third option. If he gets out of the first round, he’s a shoo-in. Unless the Clips win it all.

  4. woah says:

    How can people hate so much. melo puts more into his game now then i have ever seen b4. And everyone who plays him says he’s harder to guard than the so called best Lebron. That should be enough to tell you that he’s a legitimate star in this league.

  5. Gattone says:

    Are you serius? Just a great Shooter? I’ve never seen “just a great shooter” Go for 27 point per game. Great scorers does that. And this year also plays defense. I never be a great fan of Carmelo because It think he wasn’t put his heart in the game…But not this year. He plays big and plays like a leader…Do you know what are talking about?

  6. bonney2012 says:

    on c’mon guys whatelse do you want the knicks to do.They give their 100 percent plays every night. i THINK this is the best record i have seen so far from the knicks.

  7. LF says:

    Sorry but no coach in the NBA today can even reach Pop’s heels.

  8. stretch says:

    Carmelo a fraud? Please. He’s a top 5 scorer who rarely has off nights — can score inside, out, matchup trouble for everyone. What, would you rather have Joe Johnson?

    • Knicks Fanatic says:

      This is so ridiculous! I understand that Smith was able to hit the game winner but comes playof time, its MELO that the Knicks need. I understand KIdd was great this game but he needs time off for these kinds of performances in the playoffs. THe knicks will go far this year, they have God’s blessing.

  9. realnaisse says:

    it’s only prove that anthony is a total fraud at the franchise player spot, it’s hilarious. he is a good shooter, but any good shooter would fit for the job at a lower cost. it’s an hype showguy not a title warrior.

    • Fan says:

      Whoa there buddy. I hope you’re kidding. Teams play Anthony more physical than both KD and Lebron and he’s still producing at a high level. All this “proves” is that the Knicks and their “ancient” bench can hold the fort while their top two players, their PG, and their best perimeter defender are injured.

    • Milz says:

      you can’t possibly believe this?!?

    • Chuck says:

      You obviously don’t follow Knick games. Melo a good shooter, HILARIOUS! Melo is a great scorer, not a great shooter. Check out his stats. He goes 12 for 33 all the time. What makes Melo great is his proficiency at scoring the big basket. You’re not going to find “just a good shooter” leading the team in scoring every night, you have to be clutch also. The teams in the NBA that don’t have the clutch scorer are the ones looking up in the standings!

    • Mister 215 says:

      I guess you didn’t watch the Olympics cuz if you did you would have never made that statement….. THIS GUY!!!!!

  10. Angel Betances says:

    Coach Woodson has made such a remarkable change in the atmostphere and culture surrounding the New York Knicks. Because of him. Carmelo is now being a leader and with his performances all season long, a viable MVP Candidate. Because of Coach Woodson, JR Smith has toned down from being an irratic shooter to a more well adjusted, all around player and without a doubt a candidate for 6th Man of the Year. Coach Woodson, took the positives from the previous system of Mike D’Antoni and with the help of GM of Year Candidate Glen Grunwald, got veterans and experienced leaders on this team and made the New York Knicks a contender, not only just the Eastern Conference but for the NBA Title in the early goings.

    Mike Woodson is the shining light not only among the 2 teams in the city (Avery Johnson just got Fired… ) but in the NBA and I really hope that he is rewarded and commended heavily by announcers, commentators and the NBA alike.

    GO KNICKS

  11. Bunsenburner says:

    I don’t get why people are talking about MVP en Coach of the Year this early in the season. It annoys me.

    • Gabiru says:

      Early? We have almost 40% of the regular season behind us… Open up your eyes!!

      • Mister 215 says:

        Yea but this talk should start after the All Star game, because that’s when teams really start to play some serious ball. Still another 50 some odd games left!!!

  12. ReaperChief says:

    Woodson really is a candidate for Coach of the Year this season.. And as a fan of many teams.. including the Knicks I hope he gets the award and the Knicks reach The Finals.