- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Training camp kicks off on Tuesday. To get ready, we are going to take a position-by-position look at the Knicks' roster. We'll have a new position breakdown on the blog each day for the rest of the week. Here's our point guard analysis. Today, we examine the shooting guard position.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the Knicks' shooting guards in the comments section below.
WHAT'S NEW: The Knicks had needs to fill at point guard and PF/C heading into the draft, but they decided to take shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. instead. The thinking at the time was that Hardaway would be an insurance policy in case J.R. Smith left in free agency. Now, the Knicks may need Hardaway to produce right away as Smith heals from knee surgery and serves a five-game ban for violating the NBA's drug policy.
But New York has a plethora of players that can fill in at shooting guard this season. It may be the Knicks' deepest position heading into 2013-14.
HOW WILL IT ALL FIT? That depends on if the Knicks play small or with a traditional lineup.
If the Knicks go with a traditional starting five, they will likely have Iman Shumpert at shooting guard. But they had success with a smaller lineup last season, which often featured two point guards in the backcourt.
It's worth noting that when Felton and Prigioni shared the floor last year, the Knicks' offensive rating, calculated by how many points they scored per 100 possessions, was 10.8 points higher than the team's average for the season.
But Smith and Shumpert give the Knicks a stronger defensive presence at shooting guard than Felton or Udrih.
Last season, New York held opposing shooting guards to a 13.5 player efficiency rating, which measures a player's per-minute productivity. That was the lowest PER rate among the five positions. Of course, credit for that goes to the entire team and not just Shumpert and Smith. But they both were driving forces in slowing down the opposing 2-guard.
To maintain that defensive standard, Woodson may opt to play bigger lineups with Shumpert and Smith at shooting guard and keep Udrih, Felton and Prigioni at point guard.
Question: How do you feel about the Knicks' shooting guard situation going into this season?
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