<
>

Time for a starting lineup shuffle?

1/3/2013

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson hinted at a possible lineup change Thursday night against San Antonio.

Don't be surprised if Marcus Camby replaces Kurt Thomas in the starting lineup against the Spurs.

"Not taking nothing away from Kurt because Kurt bangs and does what’s asked of him too," Woodson said after Thursday morning's shootaround. "I’m just looking for a different look. I haven’t made the decision on what I’m going to do yet, but we’ll see."

The Knicks have gotten off to slow starts defensively of late, something Woodson's looking to avoid against San Antonio. Camby could help against the Spurs' big front line.

The Camby-Tyson Chandler pairing may also help the Knicks on the boards. Portland outrebounded the Knicks 26-13 in the first half Tuesday.

Camby and Chandler started the second half together against Portland on Tuesday. The Knicks outscored the Blazers by seven when both were on the floor for the first seven minutes of the third quarter.

"I thought from a defensive presence it was pretty good in terms of protecting the interior of our defense and rebounding the basketball," Woodson said of the Chandler-Camby pairing. "It’s something we’ve struggled with a little bit this season. I definitely liked what I saw, yes."

AMAR'E SAYS KNEE'S FINE: Growing a little tired of questions about his surgically repaired left knee, Amar'e Stoudemire insisted that his knee is 'fine' after Thursday's shootaround.

Stoudemire is expected to play around 16-17 minutes against San Antonio. He played 16:41 against the Blazers in his first game back since undergoing left knee surgery on Oct. 31.

Stoudemire also said he's fine with his role off the bench for the Knicks (21-10).

"It's a great role. It's something that we can cherish," Stoudemire said. "Us being the second unit, guys that come in and ignite the team, keep the momentum going; it's something that we need."

CHANDLER ANKLE IMPROVING: Chandler said he was at less than 100 percent Tuesday due to a sprained right ankle.

He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds (six offensive), but the Knicks as a whole were outrebounded 47-37 and outscored by 12 in the paint.

That's obviously not all on Chandler. It also hurts that the Knicks are without Rasheed Wallace, who will miss his 10th straight game due to a stress reaction in his left foot.

But Chandler hopes to be closer to 100 percent against San Antonio.

"Hopefully today I'm a little more lively and have my legs under me a little better," Chandler said.

WOODY PRAISES D'ANTONI: Woodson was asked about Stoudemire's assertion that he had never been coached defense before this season under Woodson.

The statement was an indirect shot at Mike D'Antoni, who coached Stoudemire in Phoenix and New York.

"I’m not going there with you guys on that," said Woodson, who served as an assistant under D'Antoni last season and later took over for him. "I think Mike D’Antoni is a great coach and he does a lot of wonderful things on both ends of the floor. Amar’e’s entitled to his opinion."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.