Decision coming on Starting 5
With Iman Shumpert back and Raymond Felton getting closer, Mike Woodson is going to have some interesting choices to make regarding his starting lineup.
Shumpert started Thursday because Woodson didn't want the second-year guard to tighten up after warmups.
The Knicks are getting healthier -- Iman Shumpert made his season debut Thursday in London.
Many believe Shumpert will eventually start for the Knicks anyway. But what happens to Jason Kidd when Felton comes back? Does he go to the bench?
What about Amar'e Stoudemire? Will he eventually return to the starting lineup?
Below, we present a few potential starting fives for the Knicks, once everyone is healthy.
Felton, Kidd, Shumpert, Anthony, Chandler: Assuming Woodson wants J.R. Smith to continue coming off the bench, this is the best starting five in my opinion, although that comes with a caveat*. This lineup allows Carmelo Anthony to stay at power forward, where he can take advantage of mismatches. And it keeps a two-point-guard configuration on the floor, which the Knicks have had success with.
(*The Knicks, though, would benefit from bringing Kidd off the bench after Felton gets back. Kidd has been playing too many minutes with Felton out, and bringing him off the bench would allow Woodson to keep him fresh for late in the regular season and the postseason.)
Felton, Shumpert, Smith, Anthony, Chandler: This is the Knicks' best five-man unit, in my opinion. It's unlikely to be the team's starting five, though. Woodson likes to have Smith's scoring off the bench. Though it's worth noting that, of the Knicks' five-man lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together, two of the top three in terms of projected win percentage have Smith at shooting guard, according to 82games.com. This is the lineup that will likely be finishing games once everyone is healthy.
Felton, Shumpert, Anthony, Stoudemire, Chandler: This lineup inserts Stoudemire back into the starting five. The issue here, as has been discussed, is the spacing between Stoudemire and Anthony -- and, more importantly, Stoudemire and Chandler. On Thursday, Stoudemire looked extremely strong off the bench, and it appears he'll have continued success taking advantage of overmatched defenders in opponents' second units. So I think he should continue to come off the bench.
What do you guys think? If you were Woodson, what would your starting five be?
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Coach Woody decision on the 5 starters will show his mistakes
ReLoaded .. your lineup of Tyson/Melo need Ibaka, or Evans, or a strong defensive-rebounder in it for the midseason & postseason games.
Your lineup of Felton, Shumpert, Smith, Anthony, Chandler: would be considered a small-ball lineup with 4 players who can put the ball on the floor .. its a decent lineup to trade-points .. it's weakness is giving up offensive-rebounds (with Tyson defendin-peremeter LOL).
Felton is our 28 minutes startin PG throughout the regular season.
JR.Smith is the SG that belongs with Felton in the starting lineup ..
the two have to learn to co-exist in the backcourt through the midseason.
especially if JR & Felton plan on being Knicks in the 2013-14 season.
A 2nd season Shumpert is our 30 minute weapon u bring off the bench to opose the weakness in our oponents backcourt guards rotation for STOPS .. Shump is a finisher not a starter.
Kidd is the best PG to tutor the future of Shump performance throughout midseason, this brings Kidd off the bench with Shump .. at least untill the postseason games.
Melo is our 32 minute startin SF .. a position where he could get his best mismatch on offense .. however on DEFENSE we dont want Melo defending bigmen anywhere near the paint. We need Melo to follow Paul Pierce defensive strategy. We need our center & PF to co-exist down-low on the defensive-end so they dont get caught up in the low-post switches.
Novak & Copeland are decent peremeter SF .. although both have a grade C- minus when trying to defend the PF post .. poor box-out, and poor at claiming rebounds.
Our starting PF should be either Novak, or Kurt, or Sheed, until Amare is ready to take the starting job.
After Amare's Fire-Extingusher postseason in a lineup with JR/Melo/Tyson, the best way Amare performance could help the Knicks be a winning postseason team is to bring Amare off the bench in his own 2nd-unit lineup without Tyson/Melo/JR.
A 2nd-unit lineup fits Amare perfect .. Amare career is use to being in a short 6 to 7 man rotation .. since Amare return to the rotation coach Woody been shufflin Amare in and out of 20 different lineup changes ..
This is not the way to GELL Amare into a rotation with 9 new teammates.
Starters .. Felton/JR/Melo/Novak/Tyson
2nd-Unit .. Kidd or Pablo/Shump/Copeland/Amare/Camby