Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Opening Tip: Who is your starting SG?
By Ian Begley
It sounds like there may be an open competition at shooting guard during training camp.
Mike Woodson was decidedly noncommittal when asked who he planned to start at the position on Monday.
"I think camp will determine a lot of things in terms of which way I go," Woodson said. "The beauty of our team (is) I have the luxury of playing a lot of different guys in a lot of different positions. That’s kind of nice to have, a good problem to have as a coach. I’ve just got to figure it out as we go along. At this point, I don’t know where I’m going to go with it because of the injuries."
Maybe Woodson's made up his mind and he just doesn't want to state it publicly yet. But maybe he hasn't. Maybe Ronnie Brewer and J.R. Smith will be battling during camp for the starting spot.
Which makes it interesting Woodson would mention injuries. We think he was talking in a general sense, but he may have been referring to Brewer's knee injury.
Brewer is expected to miss most of camp as he recovers from knee surgery. The 27-year-old hopes to be healthy enough to play in the final two games of the preseason and prepare himself for opening night on Nov. 1.
Things could get interesting, though, because Smith has indicated that he expects to start. It may be a tough call for Woodson if Brewer isn't fully healthy by the season opener.
If Brewer's healthy, I think Woodson will give him the nod as a starter. He's a strong perimeter defender, something the Knicks are missing with Iman Shumpert (ACL) on the sideline. And Brewer doesn't need to score much, which is also a plus (the Knicks wouldn't ask him to score if he was a part of the starting unit).
Smith, I think, is a better fit off the bench. If he's coming off the bench and having a tough shooting night, it's easy to pull him. But if he's in the starting five and struggling from the floor, it becomes more difficult because, in theory, you are already committed to playing him starter's minutes. And, don't forget, the Knicks don't have much scoring punch off of the bench outside of Steve Novak. So Woodson may want Smith, and his offensive proclivity, in the second unit.
That's my two cents.
What do you think? If you're Woodson, who do you start at shooting guard?