"We're still not ready yet defensively," says Knicks coach Mike Woodson after his team lost a pre-season game to the previously winless Bucks.
Woodson's diagnosis was absolutely correct. Any fan that watched the game had to be disappointed with the defensive intensity of both the starters and a couple of the younger players, most notably Tim Hardaway, Jr.. The offensive rebounding was horrible (Knicks had 16 off boards to Bucks 33 defensive boards). Tyson Chandler continues to make stupid fouls (6/fouled out) for a defensive champion and vet. Combined with a total of 4 rebounds in 17 minutes, it appears Chandler is either tired, out of shape or lazy. (Does it really matter which one, if such play continues?)
The great thing about Hardaway is that he has a professionals demeanor, is fearless and communicates on the floor. Hopefully, when J.R. Smith returns, the teams defensive culture and ability will spread and solidify because a few players like Shumpert, Metta and Kenyan Martin take pride in stopping the other team on the defensive end and will stay on their teammates. One thing is certain. The Knicks will not be title contenders without overachieving on the defensive end.
So, for now, Woodson was rightly displeased. "We're competing but we're not doing what was asked to be done on the floor before the game. I thought there were some things that happened early in the game in getting off to a bad start that's just not us. We sit and not make shots and then we let it go on the other end. that has not been our team over the past. We defend even when we do miss shots. Shots are not going to fall all the time so you damn sure gotta make sure you get it done on the other end," he said.
(For a little more about the game, you may find the Knicks v. Bucks live blog of interest)