Marcus Camby made his first start of the season. In fact, it's his first one for the Knicks in almost 11 years.
The backup center started the second half on Tuesday night against the Trail Blazers, and he immediately made an impact. He made a great pass from the top of the key to Tyson Chandler for an alley-oop dunk and then had an offensive tip-in.
"He plugs up the paint a little bit," Mike Woodson said postgame. "He's probably our best rebounder per minute. He hasn't played a lot of minutes, but in the minutes that he's played, they've been productive minutes in terms of rebounding, getting a block or two here and there. Hopefully, that will help us a little bit in terms of covering up the paint some."
The Knicks are desperately looking to correct their first-quarter defense after losing two in a row for only the second time this season. Overall, they've allowed teams in eight of their 10 losses to win the opening period. With the Spurs presenting a bigger frontline with Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter, there is good reason why Woodson chose Camby over Kurt Thomas.
ON THE DEFENSE: Woodson was asked about Amar'e Stoudemire's comments earlier this week that he had "never been taught defense," and he said the power forward was entitled to his opinion. But the coach did say he's implemented new defensive schemes this season compared to his first in 2011-12 as an assistant hired to teach on that end of the floor.
"It's a little different. I've added a few other things," he said. "Last year, we did a lot on the fly because we didn't have tine to practice with the shortened season."
Woodson was also asked if he thought he was considered a defensive coach, and he said, "I feel good about both ends of the floor and teaching. I'm just getting guys to buy in and believe that it works."
MAKING A POINT: Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni combined for just two points and six assists against the Trail Blazers. Tonight, Woodson said he wants his two point guards to look for their shot more, as well as other things.
"They're big pieces of what we're doing," he said. "If they got shots, they've got to take shots. Whoever got shots needs to take them. We've got guys that can make shots out on the floor and I think Kidd is still a pretty good playmaker, as well as Pablo. That's what we're trusting them to do, and they've got to do that. They've got to make shots, they've got to run our ball club and they've got to play defense. It all goes hand-in-hand."
HOMECOMING: Spurs shooting guard Danny Green, who graduated from St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, N.Y., in 2008, returns to MSG. He told ESPNNewYork.com before the game that he had never been been to the Garden growing up, and tonight, he'll have "a lot" of family and friends in attendance.
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