Woodson scared Melo, Chandler, Stoudemire into playing better

12/14/12 in NBA   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

When Mike Woodson took over as interim coach the New York Knicks were far from Eastern Conference leaders, which they have become today. As an assistant to former coach Mike D’Antoni, Mike Woodson had been somewhat a part of the struggling 18-24 New York Knicks hadn’t necessarily played with the focus, pride, passion and accountability up to D’Antoni’s decision to step down. But after taking helm of the New York Knicks as an interim coach Mike D’Antoni knew he’d be going “out on a limb” with no guarantees of returning after the last 24 games of the 2011 lockout-shortened season.
That’s why he decided to have a heart-to-heart, full-disclosure talk with New York Knicks’ three star players – Carmelo Anthony, Amare’ Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler – to remind what was at stake and inspire them to improve their performance.
“When I took over the team, maybe I scared them into playing,” said Mike Woodson on Thursday. “I don’t know. I had some things I had to get off my chest being back in the driver’s seat as a head coach. I stated what I wanted and what I expected from those guys.”
After Mike Woodson finished his talk with Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler about playing with pride and for each other, as well as challenging them to become leader while threatening to hold them accountable, the trio adopted dramatic silence with a few seconds. Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler weighed in everything that was being said and asked of them and given the New York Knicks (17-5) current success, it looks like they quickly too heed.
However, forward Steve Novak revealed after individually talking with Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler Mike Woodson repeated his challenge in front of  the whole while New York Knicks owner James Dolan was also present at that point.
“He said, ‘It’s on you three guys,’” recalled Steve Novak on Thursday. “I think a lot of times things are understood, but when they are spoken and pointed out and made an emphasis on, it’s different.”
“I think that when he came in he wanted to make sure that we all understood there had to be excitement,” added Steve Novak. “We had to have a different demeanor about us.”
Mike Woodson’s approach also encouraged James Dolan towards a re-affirmed confidence in the new coach.
The New York Knicks’ success since early in the season certainly hasn’t been the work of some miracle. And Following Mike Woodson’s challenging tone with Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in March, the New York Knicks have played with more overall energy, commitment to defense and increased urgency. Although the New York Knicks were easily defeated in the postseason by later NBA champions Miami Heat, they have posted a stronger performance this season.
Mike Woodson’s riding on a wave of success these days, boasting a 34-11 coaching record with New York Knicks.
Following a poetic win tonight over the Mike D’Anotni’s current team Los Angeles Lakers (who are falling apart in Steve Nash’s absence), it seems to suggest that Mike Woodson’s talk with Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler had a lasting impact on the New York Knicks.
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