D'Antoni benches Chandler for Turiaf, moving Amar'e to PF
By MARC BERMAN
Last Updated: 12:47 PM, January 21, 2011
SAN ANTONIO - Faced with a four-game losing streak, Mike D'Antoni is reverting back to his old starting lineup, benching Wilson Chandler, putting Ronny Turiaf back in as the starting center that allows Amar'e Stoudemire to move back to his starting-power-forward slot.
The moves comes two days after Stoudemire said he "hates'' being referred to as a center. Chandler also has looked worn down, on both ends, playing lazier defense than he has in the past. Chandler thrived as a Sixth Man in November and the club did well with that starting five for a section of their 13-1 spree. The Knicks face the Spurs tonight at the AT&T Center with San Antonio looking for revenge from its Garden loss earlier this month.
"We want to play a little bit bigger,'' Mike D'Antoni said. "It was a good lineup for us. It changes things up a bit. Things haven't been going stellarly andd the first-quarter defense hasn't been good. We'll see if this works.''
D'Antoni said he hopes to stick with this for a while. Stoudemire claimed he had no input on the decision. In Houston, Stoudemire said he is "a forward'' and it's the most he's played center in his career. Stoudemire is starting to wear down - perhaps because of being overmatched physically at center on the defensive end.
D'Antoni could have pulled Danilo Gallinari from the lineup for Turiaf but the coach apparently was afraid to shake the Italian Stallion's confidence.
"A lot of reasons, a lot of discussions,'' D'Antoni said. "I don't want to play it out in the papers.
Wilson has come off the bench. It hasn't effected him. You don't know if it will effect the other guys. Also Wilson comes in with a lot of firepower. And the biggest reason is it worked before and looked like everyone was OK with it.''
Dant won't admit it, but Amare is the one who made this happen.
Gallo is not built for this IMO.