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Stein: Woodson in 'tenuous' spot


ESPN.com's Marc Stein has a great breakdown of coaches who are purportedly on the Hot Seat as Christmas approaches.

Naturally, Mike Woodson, the coach of the 7-17 Knicks, is the first name mentioned.

Here's the latest from Stein on Woodson:

NBA coaching sources maintain that Woodson, in private, understands his job security is tenuous despite the recent vote of confidence he got from Madison Square Garden chairman Jim Dolan in Dolan's recent interview with The New York Post. But he's also hanging in there pretty gamely. If Woody can survive the nightmare ending witnessed Monday night at MSG, where a remedial defensive breakdown and a timeout snafu sealed a 102-101 loss to [Randy] Wittman's Wizards, Woodson might get through what a lot of peers see as an unfair vigil given how much Tyson Chandler means to this team. Chandler, after all, is inching closer to a return from a fractured right fibula, which suggests that Woody and the Knicks have potentially seen the worst of their struggles. Potentially.

Our take: A league source told ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday morning that the Knicks planned to give Woodson an opportunity to coach the team with a healthy Chandler.

But, as is always the case with the Knicks, things could change on a moment's notice depending on how owner James Dolan reacts to the latest calamity.

One source with knowledge of the team's thinking predicts Woodson will have a chance to coach the team for a handful of games with a healthy Chandler before any coaching change is made.

But, again, when dealing with Dolan's Knicks there's always the chance that things change and Woodson is relieved of his duties immediately.

A league source told ESPNNewYork.com last week that Woodson was being judged on a "game-by-game" basis by Knicks upper management.

One reason that the Knicks' hierarchy was hesitant to make a change, according to the source, was because it did not want to have an interim coaching situation this early in the season. And there aren't any easy answers available when you're looking for a permanent replacement.

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