Opening Tip: Is it time to bench Felton?

December, 26, 2012
12/26/12
7:00
AM ET
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Is it time for Raymond Felton to take some time off while his hand injuries heal?

Christmas wasn't kind to Raymond Felton. (On the court, at least).

The Knicks point guard had just 10 points on 5-for-19 shooting in New York's loss to Los Angeles.

It was the latest in a string of subpar shooting performances from Felton, who has hit just 36 percent of his attempts in the Knicks' past five games and has missed his last 15 3-point attempts.

Felton suffered a sprained right pinkie in the third quarter against the Lakers but stayed in the game. He's also playing with bone bruises on his left and right hands.

Felton has admitted that the injuries are affecting him on the floor, but, to his credit, he has played through pain for the Knicks.

In light of his recent struggles, though, it's fair to wonder if he should take some time off to let his injuries heal.

Mike Woodson has consistently defended Felton's shot selection, saying the point guard is taking shots that he has made in the past. The problem, of course, is that he hasn't hit them of late.

It's worth remembering that Felton has played a vital role in the Knicks' 20-8 start. And, despite his struggles, he has still done a solid job distributing and protecting the ball.

If he sat out, that would mean more minutes for Pablo Prigioni and would likely force Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith to handle the ball more frequently.

But given Felton's shooting issues, that might be something that benefits the Knicks.

Question: What do you think? Is it time for Raymond Felton to take some time off to heal his hand injuries?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.4 3.3 0.8 36.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.1
StealsP. Prigioni 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3