The Knicks spent time in the film room and then several hours on the hardwood floor to correct the issues that plagued them in a demoralizing 120-89 loss to the Spurs on Sunday.
Head coach Mike Woodson specifically targeted the defense when speaking to the local media after the practice session.
“Last night it was pick-and-rolls but a lot of times it was just straight line drives,” Woodson explained.
New York’s signal caller described a lack of individual – on-ball defense that led to the 17 Spurs layups. He added, “There was a breakdown because we were over-reaching, extending and couldn’t get help quick enough there.”
Despite missing the defensive anchor in the paint, Tyson Chandler, Woodson believes his squad can compete with any team in the league. Woodson demanded a quick turnaround to reverse a potential troubling trend.
“I’m not happy when you play like this because I know we are better than a 30-point blowout last night. I know we are a better team than that. Is it just one of those games or is it going to linger on? I’m trying to put the fire out. We have to defend and it’s just that simple. You put yourself in position to win games when you defend and rebound the ball,” Woodson stated.
Learning and Moving On
The positive aspect to a blowout loss in the NBA is the next game is right around the corner. With a matchup against the Hawks looming, the Knicks will have a chance to bounce back and begin the road back to winning basketball.
“The day after is always the hardest day just trying to get people to stop thinking about it, trying to move on and get over it,” Carmelo Anthony acknowledged. But, overall as far as the practice went, it was a great practice but as far as the mood, it was just one of them days when we were trying to forget that that game, trying to figure out was wrong in the film session. So, long day.”
Anthony says the team is taking full responsibility for the unexpected lopsided loss to San Antonio, “You’ve got to be embarrassed, you’ve got to be angry about that. Everybody has to hold themselves accountable and that was the case today.”
The reigning scoring champ is averaging 23.2 points per game but was held to just 16 points and only 10 field goal attempts on Sunday. The Spurs are known for putting the opposing team’s star in a straightjacket but Anthony is still adjusting to the new personnel surrounding him this year.
“The make-up of the team is different this year than last year. Last year, I was more playing up top, spreading the offense, creating a lot of mismatches. This year is a little different of the make-up of the system – of the team. I’ll figure it out. I don’t have a problem with doing that,” Anthony emphasized.
Woodson has placed Andrea Bargnani at center next to Anthony as the power forward. The head coach has not said if he will feature a different starting lineup for the upcoming game against the Hawks. The Knicks will hold a practice session on Tuesday before traveling to Atlanta.