Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters Sunday that he doesn't think it's time for panic, after his guard J.R. Smith said last week he is panicking over the Knicks' horrific start to the season.
"So I don't know what J.R. is talking about. It shouldn't be panic time. It's too early in the game for that," Woodson said.
The Knicks have struggled on both ends of the floor this year. They enter play Sunday ranked 23rd in offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions) and 24th in defensive efficiency. They are 26th in point differential (-5.9).
Woodson is hopeful that things will change once injured center Tyson Chandler returns. Chandler (broken right fibula) is expected to be out at least two more weeks. Point guard Raymond Felton is also sidelined with a nerve injury in his hip.
"You got two starters that are not in uniform. I don't know what kind of team we really have," Woodson said. "We haven't had a full deck. Somehow, we have to get to that just to see where we are. Until we get there we got to somehow maintain and hold this thing down so it don't get too far out of whack."
The Knicks are 3-9 and on a 5-game losing streak. James Dolan spoke out in support of Woodson last week in a rare interview, but if the team keeps losing in a team it was expected to contend for a title, someone's going to have to take the fall and that person's going to be Woodson. The rest of the roster is unmovable or inexpendable and they just installed new GM Steve Mills. Woodson's the only guy left and the most common target of ire from the fanbase and media.
So while Woodson may say it's not time for panic, the panic might catch him.
Still, a seven-game winning streak and the Knicks are above .500. They're not out of the race by a longshot yet, but they have to start finding some answers in the next few weeks. Woodson won't survive past Christmas at this rate.