By John Schmeelk
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I want to introduce Mike Woodson to someone. His name is George Costanza. He once devised a theory that would do Mike Woodson a lot of good today: do the opposite. As Jerry Seinfeld once said in Monk's Cafe, "If every instinct you have is wrong, the opposite would have to be right." This theory got George a job with the Yankees, and it could be the only thing that will save Mike Woodson from himself and leave him as head coach of the Knicks.
It's amazing to say, but nearly every single instinct and decision Mike Woodson has made this year has been wrong. Last year he was saved from making these same types of mistakes by all the Knicks injuries. His options were limited and he was forced to do things like play Carmelo Anthony at the three and use two point guards. This year with a full roster at his disposal, however, he has screwed up in nearly every way possible. Here's how a talk between Coach Woodson and Georgie Boy would go.
MIke Woodson: "Hey we played bad defense and got out-rebounded last year, we need to play bigger guys."
Costanza: "Didn't you win 54 games last year? See in this case the opposite is actually what you already did, even if it was by accident. This should be pretty simple. You already did it! Besides, what's the point of going big anyway? Your big guys Stoudemire and Bargnani don't play defense or rebound. That's like asking me to pretend to be a marine biologist. If I'm going to pretend to be anything it's an architect. Let those guys be scorers. And never play them together, or ever with Carmelo Anthony. I don't want to get to deep into it, but that really brings us to the 'World's Are Colliding Theory'. Simply put: a defense divided against itself, cannot stand!
Mike Woodson: "But I'm still playing Melo at the three and a traditional two guard. You must math other teams."
Costanza: That must be instinct. That's why they call it the "opposite theory." Are you really going to keep playing Carmelo Anthony at small forward? Have you seen him try to chase small guys around the court on defense? It's like watching Jerry being dragged from the back of his car by the Mandelbaums. Besides, that means Pablo Prigioni isn't playing. He reminds me of this guy Elaine used to date, he was named Tony. He was such a cool guy. He made everyone around him so much cooler. He could do everything so well, even rock climb. I don't get to see him anymore. I don't want to talk about it. But the only guy I ever saw that was better for this team than Pablo was this guy Jimmy. He had these shoes that made you jump higher. Maybe we could get those for Melo so he could finish around the rim a little better. Help him get off the ground. Bottom line, if someone tells you not to play Pablo a lot of minutes, you tell them to step off!
Woodson: "I'm still playing my boy JR at the end of games. We play golf together. I hold him accountable for stuff all the time. "
Costanza: "JR? Seriously? He's a chucker, just like me. Trust me, it takes one to know one. Would you play me at the end of a game? I'd choke just like I did when I tried to get out of dinner with Elaine's dad. I'm a choker. Stick with the opposite! This guy is shooting so bad, maybe he has that condition where his elbow involuntarily spasms at random times. Perhaps instead of benching that guy Shumpert for Tim Hardaway Jr, you should bench JR Smith? See that's one way you are already doing the opposite, but in a strange way that doesn't work. You say you want to play defense, but then you play all these guys that don't know how to play defense. You don't even play Ron Artest anymore and he plays defense as well as anyone on the team. I don't get it. If JR gives you trouble when you sit him down, challenge him to the Feats of Strength. I think you can take him.
Woodson: "At least Stoudemire's knee is OK. I'm going to play him as many minutes as possible to help us win."
Costanza: How about no minutes? That would be the opposite and also the right decision. Maybe once he flew around like the Ted Danson plane, but now he's like that piece of garbage jet that nearly got us killed in Massachusetts. Besides, you get outscored nearly every time he is on the floor. That one time I got really smart by being celibate for a long time, I calculated his Net Rating when he plays and when he doesn't. Can you believe it's -21.6! That's got to be one of the worst in the NBA. I would do to Stoudemire what Dinkins did to Lloyd Braun, jettison him before he brings you down with him. Playing Stoudemire major minutes is a worse idea than Braun's nametag fiasco! I feel bad for you Mike. Managing this roster seems just as harder as pushing a Frogger machine across a busy New York City Street, and you don't even have Slippery Pete helping you.
Woodson: At least I'm a great defensive coach, and my system won't change on that end.
Costanza: Opposite, baby! Do you really think it's smart to switch Andrea Bargnani onto opposing point guards on the pick and roll? That has as a good a chance of working as Kramer's oil tanker bladder scheme. I've had some bad ideas that might be the single dumbest thing I've ever heard. Who thinks that's a good idea? At the end of the day you're just going to wind up with Bargnani all covered in oil. That's not going to be good for anybody. Wait, that doesn't make any sense. You get the point.
Woodson: "You think I'm going to make it through the season, George?"
Costanza: "No one knows more about getting fired than I do, and I must imagine working for Jim Dolan is like working for George Steinbrenner. That's something I know plenty about. I'm sure he's had a lot of airing of grievances sessions with you. Handle him like I did the soup Nazi. Do exactly what he says and never talk back. It's the only way. I got to say Mike, you're in trouble unless you do this opposite thing. You're about as good at your job right now as the people at Krueger Industrial Smoothing. I would really like to help you out, always love to support fellow bald guys, but unless you want to go streaking in a flesh colored body suit, pretend you are handicapped, or invite James Dolan to your fake house in the Hampton's to take a ride on Prickly Pete, I think you're cooked. Unless you do the opposite, baby! Jerry suggests you look to the cookie, but I don't think that will help you in this situation.
Woodson: "How about dealing with the media? Do you think they can help me?"
Costanza: "To that, I'll say one thing. If there's one thing you remember from this conversation, remember this: It's not a lie, if you believe it. That will get you through a lot."
You can follow me on twitter for everything Knicks, Giants, and New York sports at twitter.com/schmeelk.
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