Knicks take ‘recovery day’ after streak-stopping win

J.R. Smith wants the team to ratchet up the intensity even more. Credit: Getty Images
J.R. Smith wants the team to ratchet up the intensity even more.
Credit: Getty Images

The Knicks had a very light day of practice on Monday, perhaps as a reward for the effort they exuded in Sunday’s win against the 76ers. Head coach Mike Woodson was more than obliging in giving a number of the team’s top stars a “recovery day off.”

Woodson was particularly happy with the way the team adjusted to some defensive tinkering, specifically with their trapping defense, as they stymied the Sixers to shoot just 42.4 percent from the field, including 30.8 percent from behind the arc.

The coach is hopeful such a stifling performance can jumpstart a team that’s been in a rut for months, making that 18-5 start to the season a distant memory.

“From a defensive standpoint I was pleased, so that’s what we need more of,” Woodson said, acknowledging that his team needed a win to regain some confidence. “[Winning like that] has a lot to do with it, because when you’re not used to losing, you lose your confidence. Last night was a confidence booster in trying to get our heads back to where we need to be mentally.”

J.R. Smith agreed with his coach about maintaining that aggressive edge and not falling back into a funk. The sometimes erratic shooting guard has never been known for his philosophical approach to the game, but he noted that he noticed a change in the overall mentality of the team during their bad stretch and said it was encouraging to see the team rebound from adversity the way they did.

“I think we can still pick up the intensity even more, [and] be more physical,” Smith said. “We need to start off all the games that way, get to the rim early, draw fouls and get in a rhythm shooting free throws. … We need everybody focused and locked in and not allowing teams to feel comfortable playing us.”

Woodson went on to say that the Knicks need to remain focused and stay the course, even when times get tough as they did during their four-game skid. One of the tasks he presented to his team going forward was to remember that their goals are still achievable — such as staying atop the Atlantic Division (they’re currently in first place) and staying on course to remain a Top-4 seed (they’re currently the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference), which would earn the Knicks homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The real trick to regaining that early success, said Woodson, was to re-establish dominance and not overthink too much when adversity strikes.

“We need to get back to what we do and not let teams get us on our heels. We need to get back to dictating,” said Woodson. “We’re still winning. We’re still atop of the division. It’s not a panic mode type of thing.”

Knicks notes

» Woodson was noncommittal about Kenyon Martin’s availability on Wednesday against Golden State. He said it’s still up in the air, but noted Martin was involved in Monday’s light session, working on the halfcourt offense and particular sets: “He might be [available]. It’ll take some time to get him up to speed. He’s been without basketball for a while. We’re just taking it a day at a time.”

Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.