With our stacked lineup becoming healthy again, some players that have been getting burn will start getting less minutes, even DNPs or traded.
Ronnie Brewer- Brewer started off great as Knick. He was a defensive stopper that was hitting the corner 3, even shooting at a clip of over 40% for a while. Now Brewer has come down to earth and is struggling as Knick because his shot has disappeared. The defense is there however that is not even as solid as the start of the season. He is becoming a carbon copy of Landry Fields (useless). If he doesn't spread the floor or even be effective in any way on offense then we are playing with 4 guys on the court. To be an elite team we need lineups where every player can score. With Iman Shumpert returning, Brewer is going to become non existent since Shumpert is even better on defense and can score at a high clip when healthy due to his athleticism and progressing jump shot. Expect Brewer to be out of the rotation once Shump is back and maybe even traded for a 2nd round pick.
Steve Novak- When Novak makes 3's the Knicks usually win. However, gettting open for the 3's is Novak's problem since the Knicks don't run many plays for him and he is slow so he can't be effective like some sharpshooters such as Ray Allen who can drive defenders crazy running around screens. Novak is useless when guarded up close. Recently teams have been putting their point guards on him because they can stay close at all times and use the bigger players as help defense. This is a double negative. If Novak is being guarded by PG's and not scoring every night then we have to lower his minutes. Chris Copeland has been out performing Novak in every way, and I mean every way even on offense. Only reason Novak is not being benched every game for Cope is because Cope is a rookie and Woodson needs time to warm up to playing "rooks." But, as Wally and Alan Hahn keep saying, Novak will be out of the rotation if Cope keeps up the consistency.
Rasheed Wallace- Sheed is a fun player to watch and is very vocal. However, Sheed has been struggling from downtown and shoots it at a high clip, resulting in a poor offensive shot. If Sheed is bricking shots, he still shoots them so I think he is suffering from the old JR syndrome. Sheed is also slow and does not rebound or play defense as well as Marcus Camby. Once Camby gets back into the swing of things and gets his legs under him, Camby will be used more. The only reason Sheed will play is if Camby is hurt or if Woodson wants to put Amare at Center with Sheed outside for floor spacing, other than that reason I don't see Sheed getting much burn. He is already becoming injury prone and is only on a one year deal, meanwhile Camby is signed for 3 years at 4 mil a year so he has more value right now. Camby is also one of the best rebounders and is a great shot blocker in the NBA and we suck at rebounding and have been struggling mightily at interior defense.
James White- I love flight White but with everyone healthy but I don't think White will ever get rotation minutes. I think he is better than Woodson thinks but the team is too stacked right now and SF is not a position we need to fill with Melo on the team. I know Melo plays PF but once Amare returns and now with Copeland impressing I expect Melo to return to the SF spot to overpower small forwards instead of trying to beat big men off the dribble. White will be in the dunk contest and thats nice but thats the only burn he will get.
Possibly- Chris Copeland. I love Cope and I think he has the tools to be an everyday rotation player. Most of the games he has played he has been a force on the offensive end. Most teams would be playing Copeland at least rotation minutes every game. However, Mike Woodson is strict with playing veterans over rookies, I have no idea why but some coaches are like that. With Amare coming back and being the offensive force for the 2nd unit, I expect Cope's minutes to naturally go down. The only way Cope stays in the rotation is if he takes over for Sheed as the stretch 4 when Amare plays Center. Copeland has been better than Novak in every way and is more of a threat than Sheed because he can create his own shot and fill up the stat sheet. Will Woodson use the spot minutes for Cope or Sheed? My heart says Cope but my mind says Sheed.
Kurt Thomas- Thomas is a tough dude and I almost forgot to put him in here. Thomas is only starting because Melo and Amare have been out and Woodson just likes, for some reason, starting a player and never playing them again all game. Thomas is great for spot minutes but with Amare coming back and Copeland impressing I don't see Thomas getting minutes unless injuries or foul trouble plague the Knicks.
Thoughts would be nice and any other inputs.