Mike Woodson said the way the Knicks have started the last two games doesn't reflect well on him. But he's more concerned with correcting that than he is about his job security.
"I've been at this thing 30 years," Woodson said yesterday during his weekly spot on ESPN New York radio. "The one thing I never and will ever do is look over my shoulder. I won't do that. I have too much pride for that."
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Woodson has been successful as the Knicks' coach, guiding them to 54 wins last season and the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2000. His option for next year was picked up before training camp opened, but that doesn't mean he's on solid ground.
The Knicks came into this season believing they could compete for a championship. But they're 1-3, have been down double digits in the first half the last two games at home and have been booed by the Garden fans. Now they will have to right themselves without Tyson Chandler for four to six weeks because of a non-displaced fracture in his right leg.
"I think what we've done the last two years, we made some major ground and major steps," he said. "At the end of the day this is a different year. That team that won 54 games is not here. It's a different team. It's my job as a coach to try to get this team to jell and play at a high level. If I got to always look over my shoulders then I can't do my job. I try to look ahead. That's what's staring in front of me right now."
The Knicks have a tough road ahead without Chandler, who could miss between 13 and 21 games if he meets the timetable given. Woodson is focused on keeping the Knicks in the hunt.
"The last two games have been noncompetitive," he said. "That bothers me. That's a reflection on me from a coaching standpoint and my staff.
"It's my job to make sure that these guys get back to playing like I think they should be playing -- at least putting ourselves in a position to win ballgames. We haven't done that the last two games coming out of the box and that's why there's concern, and there should be. It's early. I'm not a panicky coach. My job is to still teach and push guys to play at a high level and that's what I'm going to do."
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