The New York Knicks (9-19) may be well under .500, but in the putrid Atlantic Division, they still have a fighting chance. Embattled head coach Mike Woodson told the media he expects the Knicks to come out on top in their sorry group.
They’ve been out of sync in so many games this season, including their 29-point home loss to the Thunder on Christmas Day. But Woodson believes the Knicks are close and will repeat as Atlantic Division champions.
“Do I see some light at the end of the tunnel? I do,” Woodson said. “I think eventually we’ll get to where we need to get as a ballclub. And I’m basing that on our last 12 games. Eventually we’ll get healthy and we’ll see how it all plays out. The beauty about all of this that we’re going through is nobody’s running away with it in our division and I’m pushing our team to win our division still. We won it last year and I expect us to win it this year.”
The Knicks still are only three games out of first in the Atlantic Division. The weakness of the division and injuries to key players probably have helped Woodson as speculation continues to swirl about his job security. “The bottom line is I’m the coach of this team,” he said. “I have very high standards in terms of what I do and what I expect players to do. And it starts with me.”
The Knicks have a chance to gain some ground Friday night when they begin a home-and-home with division-leading Toronto at the Garden, but it’s unclear whether (Carmelo) Anthony will play. Anthony, who didn’t practice because of a sprained left ankle that kept him out of the Christmas Day game, didn’t speak to the media. Woodson called him “day-to-day.”