MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The losses, the distractions, the disappointments. They all keep coming for the New York Knicks in a season fast taking on the look of one that can't end soon enough.
In the face of it all, coach Mike Woodson is steadfast in his belief that he's the man to lead the Knicks out of the abyss.
"My thought process will never change in terms of me being the coach here," Woodson said on Wednesday morning before the Knicks faced the Minnesota Timberwolves. "I still think I was the guy for the job. I still think I am the guy for the job and I'm going to continue to work in that area."
The Knicks have lost seven straight games to fall to 21-40, a slide that has buried them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 21 games to play. Naturally, Woodson's job status has become a hot topic while a team that started the season with big expectations unravels right in front of him.
"I don't think they're tuning me out," Woodson said about his players. "They're still listening. We're just not getting it done on the basketball floor, and that's the frustrating part about it.
"Because we're in games, we're competing and then all of a sudden we forget how to compete. That's strange as hell to me from a coaching standpoint. We've got to just keep working through it. I'm not going to quit. That's not my nature. I'm not going to do that."
The problems have been many for the Knicks, who won 54 games last season and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. They have had injuries to key players, J.R. Smith's suspension at the beginning of the season and inability to replicate last season's breakout year and their latest distraction — point guard Raymond Felton's recent arrest on gun charges.
Felton is 7 for 32 from the field since his arrest, and Woodson said he spoke with his struggling point guard at length on Tuesday to try to help him through his troubles.
"I feel for Raymond because only he knows what's going on in his heart and mind in terms of how he's feeling and I don't wish that on anybody," Woodson said. "But again, my job as the coach is to shelter and pat him and try to keep him upbeat.