MILWAUKEE - Mike Woodson wishes he could have back the closing seconds of Monday night's game. He didn't help his job security with his end-of-game performance.
Woodson remains the Knicks coach as speculation grows that he could be in trouble. The Knicks are 7-17 and continue to struggle late in games. The Knicks took that to another level in the one-point loss to the Wizards.
"Bad coaching," Woodson said Tuesday. "We made a lot of bad mistakes coming down the stretch. It happens sometimes -- and I don't mean that in just a blow-off way."
Leading by one point with 24.5 seconds left, the Knicks had a foul to give but allowed Bradley Beal to drive uncontested for the winning layup with 6.9 seconds left. The Knicks never came over to help Beno Udrih.
Still, the Knicks had three timeouts left. Woodson elected not to call one. A timeout would have moved the ball up to half-court and allowed them to design a final play.
Instead, Udrih inbounded to Carmelo Anthony, who tentatively brought the ball up, then rushed a runner that hit the backboard to end the game.
Anthony said they "were expecting a timeout."
Woodson took the blame for the blunder, and Anthony -- a Woodson supporter to this point -- didn't come to his coach's defense afterward.
"He said that was his fault; he'll take the blame, then he'll take the blame," Anthony said on Monday night.
Anthony also said Woodson didn't tell the players to call timeout if the Wizards scored.
Anthony was clearly frustrated after the loss, and Woodson cannot afford to lose the support of his star player.
Woodson said he didn't always call timeouts in that situation when he coached the Hawks. He put some onus on the players, including Anthony.
"I am going to be honest, I've let games go like that," he said. "In Atlanta, I let a couple of games go where I didn't call a timeout because they weren't set and 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, Beno 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 have called the timeout and just taken it out of their hand and advanced the ball but I didn't."
The Knicks have to rebound quickly. Tonight, they face the 5-19 Bucks. A poor effort or loss could be the tipping point for Woodson.
But two things on Woodson's side are the Knicks don't have any real candidates to replace him on his staff, and they continue to be injury depleted. Amar'e Stoudemire (knee swelling), Kenyon Martin (strained abdominal muscle), Raymond Felton (strained hamstring) and Pablo Prigioni (broken big toe) are out tonight. But Tyson Chandler could return after a 20-game absence with a broken right leg.
Management may want to see how the Knicks play under Woodson with Chandler back.
Seldom-used Toure' Murry and Cole Aldrich could see time based on circumstances. The Knicks also recalled Chris Smith from the D-League because they're short-handed.
More than anything, Woodson and the Knicks need wins.
"We have had our breakdowns at the end of ballgames," Woodson said. "I think a lot of that stems from when you're losing games, guys are just unsure. When you're winning, you make that play, you make the right play.
"Our guys are still fighting and playing hard. I'd still like to think once we get everybody back -- if we're able to get to that point -- I just hope that we haven't dug such a hole that we can't fight our way back to the top to be in the playoff hunt."
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