Jan 2, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson reacts to a call during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT

New York Knicks: Mike Woodson is foolish for using a Stoudemire-Bargnani combo

As much as New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith is to blame for the Knicks recent loss to the Houston Rockets, head coach Mike Woodson may be even more to blame.

The biggest issue I have with Woodson is continually giving a struggling Smith 30-plus minutes a game.

This is not a one or two game slump for the reigning Sixth Man of the Year where he can work himself out of it. This is a slump that’s approaching 40 games dating back to last year’s playoffs. During that span Smith is one of the worst statistical players in the entire NBA, yet Woodson leaves his struggling guard on the floor during big situations, when he is a liability at both ends of the floor.

Dec 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson reacts against the Toronto Raptors during the first quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

That’s inexcusable and has to change. Any other player other than Smith would have a seat on the bench during those moments and his minutes cut drastically.

If he’s not helping the team he simply can’t be on the floor a lot.

However that’s only one issue with Woodson as of late.

An even bigger issue proved just as costly in the loss to the Rockets and that was the fact that Woodson continues to use Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani together through stretches.

Quite simply, there are eighth grade coaches that have more common sense and even high school teams would feast on the Knicks when their two worst defensive players are on the floor together.

Though both players have size, at the defensive end of the floor, both guys play like they are 5’9”.

You would think that the duo could at least provide the Knicks with some offense, but that hasn’t been the case at all.

When Stoudemire and Bargnani share the court together the Knicks score just 90.7 points per 100 possessions, while allowing a whopping 116.

It’s no surprise that both would represent league-worst marks.

You also have a severe lack of rebounding when the two are paired together as during their shared time the Knicks have a lowly 46 percent rebounding rate, also an NBA worst.

So again I must ask why Woodson has a desire to run a lineup out that has no chance of producing positive results at either end of the floor?

Take the Houston game for example.

Leading by eight to start the fourth quarter, Woodson used STAT and Bargs as his bigs for a stretch of 5:30

During that time the Knicks were outscored 14-6 and the Rockets turned an eight-point deficit into a tie game as James harden and his teammates had a field day getting to the basket.

While Woodson doesn’t have many options to turn to, he should have quickly burned a timeout and made some changes.

Even a Cole Aldrich or Jeremy Tyler, while they may not help much offensively, could do a better job for a two or three minute stretch to rebound or prevent easy baskets.

Woodson hasn’t done much to help this team win games this year and while  would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, the bottom line is he has done a lot to help lose games.

You simply can’t have that from your coach.

Between going away from a small ball attack that worked last season and a two point guard lineup that had success and other questionable decisions, including Smith, Woodson’s inability to make simple and smart coaching decisions continues to cost this Knicks team in a major way.

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Andrea Bargnan J.R. Smith Mike Woodson New York Knicks

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