Note to Mike Woodson -- Don't blow it
"This series is not over," said Amar'e Stoudemire after Saturday's 100-67 slaughter of the Knicks at the hands of the Miami Heat. "We've got to learn from our mistakes today and get ready for the next one."
Coincidentally, this is exactly how General; Custer's last dispatch from the Little Big Horn read. Perhaps the biggest mistake the Knicks made was in going out with a game plan based on beating the Heat through physical intimidation.
The Knicks committed 21 fouls in the first half alone, giving Miami a 28-5 free throw advantage. The most spectacular foul, of course, was the hit Tyson Chandler put on LeBron James with 1:36 left in the half. Incredibly, coach Mike Woodson, Chandler, and the rest of the Knicks are still insisting that it was not a flagrant foul. Take a look from several angles:
Not a flagrant? Seriously? If Darrelle Revis hits receivers over the middle like that during the season, the Jets will go to the Super Bowl.
This didn't come out of the blue, either. A few minutes earlier, both Stoudemire and Udonis Haslem got double technicals after jawing back and forth with about four minutes to play in the opening quarter. About two minutes later, Shane Battier got a good smash on Carmelo Anthony, which could easily have been called flagrant; anyway, Baron Davis then ran about 60 feet out of his way to give Battier a shove. After that, in Woodson's phrase, "All hell broke loose."
Look, Mike, hell didn't break loose -- your team did. It was one of the worst epidemics of stupid fouls ever seen in a Knicks game, and that's saying something. The roughhousing did nothing to upset Miami's rhythm - not only did they bury the Knicks with a blizzard of free throws but LeBron came alive and humiliated them in the final minute. Please, put a cap on this juvenile schoolyard crap before It degenerates into another embarrassing debacle.
Mike, we like you. The Knicks were 18-6 with you and would have done even better with Jeremy Lin in the game at point guard. Losing to Miami won't cost you your job, but losing to Miami again -- the way you lost Saturday -- will.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.