So does Woodson, who has reached both Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith in ways previous coaches couldn’t; resurrected Rasheed Wallace’s career as a useful defensive stopper; and, most importantly, embraced NBA modernity by spacing the floor for a rainstorm of 3s and Tyson Chandler pick-and-rolls. Woodson has been pigeonholed in the past as an iso-ball, slow-it-down conservative stick in the mud, but he has bucked that perception by adding a bit of Mike D’Antoni/Stan Van Gundy flavor.
I think there's a bit of a misconception in a statement like the above that it somehow exonerates D'Antoni for his failures, as if it's to say, "See, he's using D'Antoni's stuff! Mustache's are better than goatees!"
But coaching, I think as anyone who's ever had one can attest, isn't just about scheme, but there is a sales element to the job. The players have to believe in what you're saying. I think Woody deserves enormous credit for both evolving as a coach, finding a few new ideas that fit the skills of his team, and then executing them. That part is not easy either. It's also quite possible he's just been really underrated as a tactician in his own right, something that his ability this year to draw up plays out of timeouts would attest.
Also, I know the stats -- correctly, in my opinion -- bear out that the Knicks haven't been a consistently good defensive team this year, but I also think they've shown a level of defensive quality at times that we haven't seen from this team in a long while, and for me, that's still an encouraging sign as the season goes along.