Posts Tagged ‘Newsday’

Woodson Ready For Challenges In NYC


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — This is just about the time Knicks fans will recognize the true benefits of having a no-nonsense coach like Mike Woodson running the show as opposed to someone who is, shall we say more concerned with the politics of coaching.

After six often tumultuous seasons leading the Atlanta Hawks, Woodson earned an advanced degree in drama (owner, front office and player related). And it’s one of the reasons why J.R. Smith being upset about not being named a starter won’t so much as register a blip on Woodson’s radar, not when he knows there are so many other obstacles standing in the way of the Knicks and their goal of being a contender in the Eastern Conference.

Woodson’s response, courtesy of Al Iannazzone of Newsday, to the stir Smith’s reaction caused was classic “Woody,” especially to those who know how he operates:

“Two things this team has got to think about: team and win,” Woodson said before the Knicks ‘ 108-101 win in their preseason opener against the Wizards. “Other than that, I’ll manage everything else. You just have to think about team and winning games. No matter who plays — team and winning games.”

“Linsanity” … More Than Just a Moment?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — This is rare air Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is breathing these days and we are all indeed witness to the phenomenon that has become the hottest sensation in the NBA, at least for the last three games.

The last player to record 20 or more points and eight or more assists in his first two NBA starts, LeBron James. Lin made it three straight 20-point games and established new career-highs in assists in each of those three starts last night in Washington D.C.

The last athlete to snatch the sports spotlight like this in his debut on the big stage, Tim Tebow? (It’s way before Lin’s or Tebow’s time, but you old heads might remember “Fernandomania” sweeping the sports world back in the early 1980s.)

“Linsanity” isn’t just an easy nickname, it’s an actual movement in New York that is gaining steam throughout the basketball universe. CNBC Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell reported this morning that “Lin’s highlights of his 1st breakout game (against the Nets) has had 1.27 million views on Sina’s NBA page.”

When Suns star and two-time MVP Steve Nash is Tweeting about you in the middle of the night —  “If you love sports you have to love what Jeremy Lin is doing. Getting an opportunity and exploding!!” you know you’re on to something.

“Linsanity” is obviously contagious. How else do you explain Tyson Chandler‘s 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Knicks’ 107-93 win over the Wizards last night? Chandler, a 10-year vet, was just two points shy of his career scoring high while feeding off of the energy of Lin’s 23 points and 10 assists.

The fact that Lin is doing all of this while Carmelo Anthony (injury) and Amar’e Stoudemire (family reasons) are not uniform only adds to the growing legend of the Harvard grad and former D-League performer with the buzz cut and flashy game. Three straight wins after the Knicks lost 11 of 13 certainly helps fuel the movement.

The sick highlights — “I didn’t know he could dunk,” Chandler said, “When he’s going in for the dunk I’m like ‘no Jeremy, just lay the ball up.’ And all of a sudden he dunks it and I was probably just as excited as the crowd was.” — are just gravy on the feel good sandwich  Knicks are chomping on right now.


Heat-Knicks Series? Wade Can’t Wait!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — If form holds and the Heat and the Knicks meet up in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Heat star Dwyane Wade can’t wait.

You know Knicks fans and Heat fans alike will be licking their chops at the prospect of their respective “Big 3s” having the chance to match wits in the postseason.

“It would be great for the game of basketball if Miami and New York play,” Wade told Newsday. “The story lines, the history, the players. There can be a lot talked about. It really brings a lot of excitement to the first round of the playoffs. Both teams would love it.”

But beyond those with a clear rooting interest, the series holds all sorts of interesting subplots that could make for entertaining fare beyond those intimately involved.


The Knicks’ Mixed Signals

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Knicks’ actions spoke much louder than their words last night as they ended their three-game slide with a win over the Hang Time Grizzlies.

That’s a good thing, too. Because if you spend any time examining what’s being said, you’ll need a some help deciphering what was intended, what was said, in what context it was said and what you actually heard.

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is preaching patience, as he did here to Roderick Boone of Newsday:

“Hang in there. We’re hanging in there. We are pedaling as fast as we can pedal,” D’Antoni said before last night’s game against the Grizzlies . You can see there are some deficiencies and some holes. Our defense has gotten a little worse and we’ve got to get better.

“We’ve got to work at it, and it’s going to take some sweat and some things . . . The biggest thing is not to exaggerate where we are, and hang in and keep working.”