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There was a time just a few weeks ago when people were seriously debating who was the worst NBA team in New York. Given the recent surge of the Brooklyn Nets and the continued collapse and drama surrounding the Knicks, it seems clear that the boys in blue and orange are much worse off.
Even Woodson, who's been on the hot seat since the start of the season, has sold them out at this point. After a monumental lapse in judgment from Woodson, the Knicks lost on Monday night, 102-101, to the Washington Wizards. The Knicks, down by just a single point after the go-ahead bucket by Bradley Beal, failed to call a timeout with 6.9 seconds left. The Knicks had three timeouts left, by the way.
Anthony, the oft-criticized superstar, was given the ball in the final seconds and, in what can only with a very creative imagination be called an "attempt" to win the game, Melo chucked up a halfhearted Hail Mary from three point land (a two-point bucket would have won the game).
See the catastrophic turn of events here:
So whose fault was the Knicks terrible loss? Woodson, to be sure – taking a timeout is his job. But players can take timeouts too, which Anthony seemed to either disregard or just plain forget, and Woodson will not let him live it down, as the New York Post's Mark Berman reports.
I'm going to be honest," Woodson said. "I've let games go like that. In Atlanta [where Woodson used to be head coach], I let a couple of games where I didn't call a timeout because they weren't set. We threw it in and Joe Johnson was able to dribble down and hit a winning shot. Was I thinking that at the time? Well, when Beno [Udrih] stepped out and Melo begged for it and he threw it to him, I didn't stop the play. I let it go on. I should've called a timeout...but I didn't."This speaks volumes about the current situation in New York. More importantly for Nets fans, it highlights the respect that others around the league have for Brooklyn's veterans in end-of-game scenarios. Perhaps best of all, it takes some of the spotlight off of Brooklyn and places it onto Madison Square Garden, allowing the Nets to continue their climb back to the top quietly.
Woodson's trust in Johnson is definitely well placed. "Joe Cool," as Johnson is often called, has indeed been a clutch player during his NBA career. We all remember this play earlier in the season:
And prior to the season, Jason Kidd told New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy that he would entrust Johnson with the responsibility of taking the team's potential game-winning shots:
"If you're into stats, you look at Joe Johnson as the clear-cut guy taking the last second shot," Kidd said. "He was 9-for-10 (last season) with 24 seconds or less remaining. So that would be your guy who is the closer...He's a guy who delivers. He loves that stage at the end of having the ball and making the right play."Johnson hit four game-winners for Brooklyn last season, against Detroit, New York, Milwaukee and Washington. He's hit one already this season. Woodson seems to think that he could have won the game for the Knicks on Monday. How many more game winners will Joe Cool sink this year? Let us know in the comments.