Copeland 'optimistic' about 15th roster spot

October, 26, 2012
10/26/12
12:45
PM ET
Mike Woodson and Glen Grunwald sat down on Thursday to talk about the team's roster.

Don't be surprised if it wasn't a very long conversation.

The Knicks roster is basically set. The only minor question mark is with the 15th spot, and all indications point to Chris Copeland filling that spot.

Copeland finished his strong preseason with 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting in the Knicks' overtime win over Brooklyn on Wednesday. Overall, he averaged 15.5 points on 51 percent shooting.

After Wednesday's game, Copeland said he was 'optimistic' that he'd make the team.

"I'm optimistic, but you never know what they're looking for," the 6-foot-8 Copeland said. "I'm excited and I'm blessed to have the opportunity. I'd love to be here."

Copeland can play multiple positions. With Amare Stoudemire out for another two weeks, Copeland could provide points from the power forward spot
for Woodson.

"I think I can help out at every position," Copeland, 28, said. ".... I have played every position except point guard at some point. So I think (Woodson) can use me wherever he would like to. (But) I don't know what they will do at the end of the day."

The Knicks will need to cut five players from their roster to get down to the mandatory 15 by Monday. They have 13 players under guaranteed contracts and Rasheed Wallace is signed to a non-guaranteed contract. Barring something unforeseen (a major injury), Wallace will make the team. Copeland should as well. The rookie will need to improve on defense, rebounding and limit his turnovers. He finished the preseason averaging 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 turnovers.

WOODY REFOCUSES ON REBOUNDING: The Knicks will begin tightening things on Friday in preparation for the season-opener. The team will scrimmage several times over the next seven days, with a focus on improving weaknesses that have emerged in the preseason.

Chief among those are defense and rebounding.

"We've got to start adding some things defensively. I think we've got to get better," Woodson said after Wednesday's win over Brooklyn. "I don't think we're great yet in terms of our rotations. And rebounding-wise we have been awful in exhibition season. So we've really got to pick that up as well."

The Knicks averaged just 37.33 rebounds per game in the preseason, the lowest total in the NBA. They also had the second-worst rebounding difference (7.17) in the league.

They're giving up just over 100 points per game, the fifth-highest league total. And they're allowing opponents to 46% from the floor, the fourth-worst preseason total.

Question: Should Copeland make the team? Are you concerned about the Knicks' defense in the preseason?

Please leave your thoughts 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
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

NEW YORK CALENDAR