Knicks work better with Woodson

But Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are still out of sync

Originally Published: April 5, 2012
By Neil Paine | Basketball Reference
Carmelo Anthony Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesCarmelo Anthony has increased his performance under new coach Mike Woodson.

Painting the picture with broad strokes, the 2011-12 New York Knicks' narrative has centered around a trio of players: Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. But nobody has been more vital to the team's ongoing storyline this season than the Knicks' coaches Mike D'Antoni and Mike Woodson.

This is because New York's season has unfolded in clearly defined sections. First, with Lin glued to the bench, D'Antoni directed Anthony and Stoudemire in a stagnant offensive attack. Out of desperation, D'Antoni placed Lin in the starting lineup at point guard and the team proceeded to win eight of nine games and, in fact, went 6-for-7 while Anthony was injured. Upon Anthony's return, the Knicks backslid against a much tougher schedule and lost six straight, which resulted in D'Antoni's dismissal.

Mike Woodson took over and won 6-of-7, but lost Lin and Stoudemire to injury. Since then, the Knicks have gone 3-2, but Anthony has excelled individually in a slower-paced attack. Indeed, the Knicks have played considerably better since Woodson replaced D'Antoni as head coach.


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Neil Paine writes for FiveThirtyEight, the data-supported sports, politics and culture site coming soon from ESPN.