Eastern Notes: Woodson, Bulls, Pistons

Friday night’s win against the Nuggets hasn’t dulled the Mike Woodson job security chatter. The Knicks firing him is now a “when”, not an “if” proposition, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The team’s players appear to know it, both publicly and privately grumbling about Woodson’s strategies and methods. It’s a legitimate topic for debate as to how much of the blame falls on Woodson for the Knicks struggles this season, but firing him won’t fix the team’s issues opines Windhorst. He cites the problems with the team’s roster, as well as multiple players under-performing. A new coach wouldn’t be able to change that, as well as make an impact on Carmelo Anthony‘s decision to opt out of his contract after the season. Windhorst also examines the impact that interim coaches have on a team’s record. After an initial bump, teams usually don’t improve their records, according to the article.

More from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Also weighing on on the Knicks flaws not being addressed by firing Woodson, is Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday. He also agrees that many of the players under-performing would not be solved by a coaching change.
  • Mark Deeks of ShamSports takes another look at Taj Gibson‘s impact on the Bulls’ luxury tax situation. Gibson has a number of performance bonuses in his contract, that if met, could place the team over the luxury tax threshold. Gibson receives a $250K bonus for making the all-defensive second team, with another $250K if he makes the first team. The Bulls are currently $678,595 under the tax, but still have to add one more player to the roster to meet the league’s minimum requirement of 13. Adding a player, even at the minimum slot of $358,919, coupled with Gibson meeting his bonuses, could force the Bulls to pay the tax, which wouldn’t be worth it for a non-contending team, opines Deeks.
  • The Pistons find themselves in their seemingly annual position of deciding to try to win now or tank for the future, writes Terry Foster of The Detroit News. He opines that while it might be necessary to win for President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars and coach Maurice Cheeks to keep their jobs, a better draft would benefit the franchise more in the long run. This goes against team owner Tom Gores’ playoff-or-bust edict, but it’s better for the team if he doesn’t get his wish, writes Foster.
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