Woodson still tinkering with starting lineup
November, 12, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Coach Mike Woodson admitted Tuesday that he's had "some struggles" finding the right lineups and rotations for the 2-4 Knicks.
So he's mulling a change to the starting five in an effort to get things turned around.
"Right now I'm searching to try to get a unit that starts the game on a good note," the coach said.
Woodson said he's considering moving J.R. Smith and Metta World Peace into the starting five.
Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesMike Woodson will continue to search for answers to the Knicks' early-season struggles.
The Knicks have trailed by double digits in the first quarter of three of their last four games. They trailed by 18 in the opening quarter of their 31-point loss to San Antonio on Sunday.
"We've just got to get a solid game plan together where I know what I can expect from my players when they step out on that floor," Woodson said.
If the coach elects to start Smith, the reigning Sixth Man Award winner, it may mean that he's pulling the plug on the two-point guard backcourt the Knicks have used the past two games.
The Knicks are 2-1 this season when starting Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton in the backcourt. They went 15-1 last season with this configuration. But Woodson has expressed a desire to play with a bigger lineup. So Smith may start at shooting guard, forcing Prigioni to the bench.
If Woodson opts to continue to play with a small lineup, Smith may take Iman Shumpert's starting spot and play small forward.
"I'm trying to get a good rotation down and I've had some struggles with that. I haven't found the rotations that I want yet," Woodson said. "So I'm going to keep working my butt off to get us where we need to be, and then guys gotta step up and play."
If Woodson elects to start World Peace, the veteran forward may start at small forward with Anthony at power forward and Andrea Bargnani at center.
Bargnani, the Knicks' big-ticket acquisition, has played well on offense in Tyson Chandler's absence but has been a liability on defense. Bargnani had just one rebound in 26 minutes against San Antonio. So adding World Peace to the starting lineup may help offset Bargnani's shortcomings.
"We'll see," Woodson said. "I'll tinker with it a little on [Wednesday] and I'll let you know."
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