As the New York Knicks prepare for next season, the pressure will be on almost everyone wearing a Knicks uniform.
However no player could be under as much pressure that head coach Mike Woodson will be under to win in 2014.
According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, Woodson signed a three-year deal prior to last season, but only next season is guaranteed. That alone means Woodson has to win and win now.
Woodson’s 54-28 regular-season record last season, coupled with his 18-6 interim stint in 2012 makes gives the franchise’s highest coaching winning percentage (.679).
But is that good enough?
Woodson is a coach that has never made it out of the second round in the playoffs and that’s something that almost has to happen next season for the Knicks to not look in a different direction. We have reached the point where winning in the regular season is not good enough. Woodson, like his star Carmelo Anthony is going to be solely judged on postseason performance and right now his track record is not good.
Berman also writes that one league scout said Woodson is an excellent regular-season coach because he motivates his players to play defense every game, but his basic offense that contains a lot of isolation sets gets bogged down in a playoffs series when teams can prepare for it and make adjustments each game. The Knicks averaged 88 points in the 12 playoff games and the amount of isolation became a huge problem.
There’s no doubting that Woodson has been a good coach and the Knicks are in a much better position with him than without him.
But you have to consider the fact that he has won only of 18-of-46 career postseason games; including going only 7-10 with the Knicks. You have to wonder if Woodson is the guy who can take this team to the next level.
The way he failed to make the proper adjustments against the Indiana Pacers has to leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
Of course the organization could choose to extend him at any time before the end of the season, which is something that could happen at any point next season.
However there is one way that Woodson can put aside any speculation about his future as the Knicks head coach- win and win when it matters.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.