Opening Tip: Fields or Shumpert?

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
7:00
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Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip."

Today's Burning Question: Do you want to see Iman Shumpert in the starting lineup over Landry Fields?


Mike D'Antoni has no plans to take Fields out of the starting five.

"I'm sticking with guys," he told reporters in Dallas.

But for how long? Inserting Shumpert is an intriguing option. The rookie's proved to be the Knicks' best perimeter defender. In theory, putting him in the starting lineup gives him more minutes against the opponent's top perimeter scorer.

The move would also allow Shumpert to play shooting guard, his natural position. Now, he is vacillating between shooting guard and small forward in the second unit. Fields also may feel more comfortable at small forward, where he would play in the second unit.

But there's a case to be made for keeping Fields in the lineup. He rebounds the ball well and is a solid defender. And with the offensive firepower the Knicks have in the starting five, they don't need much scoring out of their starting shooting guard.

Something else to consider: D'Antoni was hesitant to remove Fields from the starting lineup earlier in the season because of the impact it may have on his confidence.

If you were D'Antoni, do you take that into account now? Or do you make a switch and go with Shumpert? What about leaving things the way they are now?

Let us know in the comments section below.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2