- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: Should the Knicks rest their injured big men until the playoffs?
Here’s the deal for the Knicks: They have a 2 1/2-game lead on Indiana in the race for second place in the East.
So, Mike Woodson & Co. have a dilemma on their hands: Should they rest Martin and Chandler for the final five games of the regular season to get them healthy for the playoffs?
Or, should they try to get Chandler and Martin back in the lineup to help secure the No. 2 seed?
With both Chandler and Martin out, the Knicks are woefully undersized inside. Their tallest player on the floor during Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls could be 6-foot-10 Steve Novak, a 3-point specialist. That means Chris Copeland and Carmelo Anthony likely would play extensively together on the front line. Marcus Camby is doubtful for the Bulls game due to the plantar fascia ailment in his left foot.
If Novak and Copeland play major minutes together on the front line, the Knicks could struggle mightily to rebound and defend the paint.
The Knicks are expected to bring on James Singleton as insurance for Martin and Chandler, but Singleton alone can’t offset the loss of both bigs.
So if the Knicks decide to rest Chandler and Martin for the rest of the regular season, there’s a chance they could fall into the No. 3 seed in the East.
New York needs three wins, or three Indiana losses -- or a combination of Knicks wins and Pacers losses adding to three -- to clinch the No. 2 seed.
Finishing second in the conference has been the Knicks’ goal the entire year. A second-place finish ensures they have home-court advantage throughout the postseason.
So should they rush Chandler and Martin back to help them finish in the No. 2 spot? Or should they try to get both big men healthy for the playoffs?
Question: What do you think? Should the Knicks rest their big men until the playoffs?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
13dKevin Pelton and Chad Ford