Nets coach Avery Johnson hinted to reporters after Monday’s practice that he could start Gerald Wallace at power forward against the Knicks, who may play Carmelo Anthony at the four spot in Wednesday night's preseason game at MSG.
That would mean that starter Kris Humphries would move to the bench.
The Nets have struggled to defend smaller stretch forwards in the past. Philadelphia’s Thaddeus Young lit them up for 24 points in their last preseason game on Friday night.
“I think everything is an open book for us,” Johnson said. “I’ve had teams before, even the 67-win team [in Dallas], we had a few different starting lineups. I’m not saying we will or we won’t. I think my job is to try to make the best decisions to give us the best chance to win, and if that’s something that we need to do, we will. If we don’t need to do it, we won’t.”
Melo has excelled at power forward in New York, even though he’s said repeatedly he prefers to play small forward. Humphries has struggled to defend smaller fours, while Wallace considered Brooklyn’s best and most versatile defender.