Mike Woodson for mayor!
Not quite, but the interim coach of the New York Knicks has two blowout wins in his first two games at the helm. Two nights after pasting the Portland Trailblazers hours after Mike D’Antoni resigned from his coaching post, the Knicks responded with a 115-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks, who improved to 20-24 on the season, were boosted by Tyson Chandler, who co-led the team in scoring with 16 points, grabbing seven rebounds and playing at a +23 clip. But much like the win over the Blazers, this one was over early.
The Knicks jumped out to a 50-31 halftime lead, playing efficiently on offense and defending the way their fans hope they would under Woodson. Two games is not nearly a legitimate sample size, and the Knicks have faced two offensively-challenged teams since the coaching change, but the defensive effort in these first two games has been there. Offensively, the Knicks spread things around. Carmelo Anthony had just 12 points, but did chip in with seven rebounds and five assists despite making just four of his 12 shot attempts. Amare Stoudemire only notched 8 points.
There were reports earlier Friday that Woodson might soon replace Jeremy Lin at starting point guard. But in the two games under Woodson, Lin has been very efficient offensively. Tonight, he finished with 13 points and five assists, taking just seven field goal attempts and turning the ball over three times. Lin will have to continue his solid play, as Baron Davis left the game with a hamstring injury in perhaps the only negative for the Knicks all night.
The Knicks and Pacers get right back at it on Saturday, this time in Indianapolis.