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Mike Woodson's self-evaluation after his #Knicks fell well short of their championship goals. More:
Woodson, in his first full season as head coach, got the Knicks off to an 18-5 start this season. The team won the Atlantic Division for the first time in 18 years, recorded their most wins (54) in 16 years and won their first playoff series in 13 years.
Overall, it was a success. But one accomplishment that fell short remains the most elusive in franchise history. The championship drought is now four decades long, with the window of opportunity for this particular core group of players down to one more season, maybe two. Woodson, himself, has just two years left on his contract.
"This is the first time these guys have been assembled," he said. "We did a lot of special things this season. To walk away from [Game 6] and say this was a disaster, absolutely not.
"Yeah, we had high expectations when we set out for training camp . . . Our goals were to win an NBA title. We played like it throughout the season, we were able to win our division and had a lot of individual accomplishments on our ballclub. And at the end of the day, we didn't get it done.
"Me being the head coach, I take full responsibility of that."
Really, it's a collective responsibility, but it does fall on the coach to have his team fully prepared, focused and driven to get the job done. Woodson most laments the loss in Game 1, where the Pacers ripped home court advantage away like the countless loose balls and rebounds they owned in the series.
"When you put yourself in position to host at home, you have to handle your business at home," Woodson said. "That one game put us behind the 8-ball."
Woodson took criticism for his rotation decisions, for sticking too long with veteran Jason Kidd, whose skills plummeted in the latter part of the season, and for attempting to force Amar'e Stoudemire into the mix after he came off injury.
Woodson also had the ill-fated decision to go with a big lineup in Game 4 and with an offense that struggled mightily, he left Pablo Prigioni on the bench for all but 3:50.
And still no one has an answer as to why Marcus Camby, who has the size, rebounding ability and defensive presence to handle Roy Hibbert, played just 12 seconds in the entire series.
"I didn't make it happen for us," Woodson said, "and that's what's disappointing."
What is your assessment of the job Woodson did this season?