Madison Square Garden Network’s cameras lingered on Mike Woodson standing courtside Wednesday night in Indiana, exposing facial expressions normally not associated with a fearless leader.
This was the face of a coach with intense media scrutiny in his future.
The look of anger on Woodson’s face faded to bewilderment. Bewilderment to confusion. Confusion to resignation. Finally the coach went into hiding. Or at least as close as he could get. He took a seat on the bench. It would have been understandable if he buried his face in a towel.
The number of extreme close-ups MSG gave Woodson during the Pacers’ 125-91 beatdown of a Knicks team that fell behind 30-18 in the first quarter, and by 39 in the third, was telling. The camera doesn’t lie. It doesn’t dish spin or propaganda. On this occasion the pictures showed Woodson in a clueless state, a coach with no answers.
Woodson had no answers as he watched J.R. Smith make a fool of himself by trying to provoke a fight with Lance Stephenson near the end of the first half. No answers when Knicks assistant Jim Todd made a bigger fool of himself screaming at Pacers coach Frank Vogel while the two players were jawing.
These images cannot be changed. Not even by those in the media who, despite the Knicks’ current funk, have extended Woodson’s honeymoon. The honeymooners still can hand out bouquets for the Knicks’ 32-19 record, good enough to keep them clinging to first in the Atlantic Division. Woodson’s proponents keep reminding us how the Knicks broke from the gate early this season playing with heart and a commitment to defense, ball movement and intensity.
With the Knicks losing four of their last five, and posting a 14-14 record since Dec. 17, how long can this love affair go on? How long before the media turn on Woodson, throwing his theories of accountability back in his face?
With the Knicks, the tip of the evidence iceberg always comes from the inside out. When MSG mouths, closely monitored by James (Guitar Jimmy) Dolan & Co., begin voicing discouraging words about Woodson, it is reasonable to begin looking for others to start going negative on the coach.


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