New York Knicks: A Look at Head Coach Candidates

Leon Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Leon Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Mike Woodson, New York Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) /

Two Mikes still in the running?

It surprised me that Mike Miller and Mike Woodson are also being interviewed. We know that the team is moving on from Miller, but why is Woodson back?

The last winning coach, Mike Woodson

Mike Woodson (Woody) was the last winning coach the Knicks had. He took the 2012-13 Knicks to the second round of the playoffs, the last year the Knicks have been relevant.

Woodson took over late in the 2011-12 season for Mike D’Antoni. That next year the Knicks, led by Carmelo Anthony, went 54-28 and made it to the second round of the 2013 playoffs. The win/loss percentage was .500. The team garnered the third most efficient offensive rating that season.

Woody left the Knicks at the end of the 2013-2014 season, right as a new president entered New York. Phil Jackson came in, traded players away leaving just a shell of that 54-28 team. The 2013-2014 Knicks went 37-45 the following year.

Woodson went back to assistant coach positions, leaving some to wonder how he would fare in today’s NBA where everything goes at a much faster pace.

The Incumbent coach, Mike Miller

Mike Miller, like Mike Woodson, took over for coaches that were let go by the franchise. Miller took over a 4-18 team and led them from 17-27 to a 21-45 season, shortened by a deadly pandemic.

What would Miller’s numbers look like had they finished the season? It doesn’t matter, they wouldn’t have gone to the playoffs.

I won’t get into player development with these two coaches, Woody had playoff-caliber players he didn’t need to develop and Miller didn’t coach the team long enough to develop a cold.