New York Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson has his star player, Carmelo Anthony, and the Knicks squad performing at their best again
What a difference a coach makes.
Mike Woodson’s all-too-timely promotion to head coach of the New York Knicks is seeing a recently-ailing franchise currently enjoying its second sudden, unexpected surge of the truncated 2011-12 NBA season. (The first time, this guy was the focus, if you don’t remember.)
In basketball, especially in the NBA, a change of head coach can have profound effects on a team’s personnel and fortunes. The game is so focussed around set-plays and defensive systems at the elite level that Woodson’s isolation-heavy offense is completely different to the “seven seconds or less” philosophy of his predecessor, Mike D’Antoni.
Second-year point guard Jeremy Lin is America's most talked-about sensation
By now, everyone in America – basketball fan or otherwise – has heard of the sensational story of Jeremy Lin. The news is spreading around the world so fast that this article (which I have been planning for a couple days) has been brought forward at the request of my younger brother, who lives in Southend and has limited interest in basketball.
Call it what you will (and people have). Lin-sanity. Lin-telligence. Lin-pressive. The Lin Dynasty. Shao-Lin. There are endless ways, it seems, of building Lin’s surname into a nickname, but the emerging New York Knicks point guard has everyone talking about far more than his name right now.
Dwyane Wade’s ongoing injury problems are forcing the Heat to switch style
Given that the season started just one month after the NBA’s damaging and embarrassing lockout ended, and that teams had one week for training camp (not two) and two preseason games (not the usual six or seven), it was unavoidable, even expected, that there would be injuries around the league – but boy are they coming thick and fast. Already, Miami’s Big Two-and-a-Half has been reduced to the Big One-and-a-Half, as Dwyane Wade struggles with various nagging leg injuries, and on one occasion, even the Big Half as LeBron James joined his running mate on the sidelines and left Chris Bosh to lead an otherwise rather short Miami roster. (As a Bosh sympathiser, if not supporter, I feel obliged to point out that he had a massive game – 33 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks – to lead the Heat to victory over the Hawks.)