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Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Opening Tip: Coach's biggest concern

By Ian Begley

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: What’s your biggest concern for the Knicks in 2013?

Knicks practices on Sunday and Monday were pivotal for Mike Woodson and the Knicks.

Woodson got a chance to look at Amar'e Stoudemire during scrimmages and got a chance to give Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler a few much-deserved days off. Furthermore, the coach was able to give Carmelo Anthony an extra two days to rest his hyper-extended left knee.

But the practice sessions were about more than monitoring injuries.

Woodson also spent the last two days cleaning up some troubling tendencies the Knicks have developed on the defensive end.

“We were able to get back to some things that we did in camp that we hadn't had a chance to do,” Woodson said. “That's mainly what these practices were all about. It was conditioning and defense.”

That’s something the Knicks sorely needed. If there’s one New Year’s Resolution for this team, it would be to start playing defense like it did earlier in the season.

Through the first nine games of the season, the Knicks' defense had been dominant, ranking in the top five in opponent field goal percentage and points allowed per game. Now, they are 11th in points allowed per game (97.0) and 20th in opponent field goal percentage (45.5).

They are 17th in defensive efficiency, a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions, and have allowed more than 100 points in seven of their last 11 games.

Yikes.

So Woodson’s biggest concern for his team would probably be their health and if they can return to the defensive form of the first few weeks of the season.

QUESTION: biggest concern for the Knicks?

Please leave your comments below.

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