Sunday, July 14, 2013
Woodson: Melo and Bargnani could start
By Jared Zwerling
LAS VEGAS -- With a source telling ESPN.com that Metta World Peace is interested in joining the Knicks, could that mean the New York native would start at small forward alongside Carmelo Anthony?
Could Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani start together next season?
But if that happens, would Andrea Bargnani and Amar'e Stoudemire really come off the bench together? That's the more compelling question, as it would be somewhat surprising if both scoring forwards are in the second unit, along with J.R. Smith, who all have defensive inefficiencies. In addition, Bargnani couldn't be Tyson Chandler's regular backup because his strength is not protecting the basket.
Here's the bottom line: If World Peace signs with the Knicks, Mike Woodson will have lineup options, and one he would consider is Anthony and Bargnani starting together.
"They could and we'll evaluate this," he said on Sunday. "This will really be a little bit different this year. I know we've been great with Melo at the 4, but Bargnani brings a different dimension to our team I think because he can do a little bit of everything. I've got to get him up to speed defensively, but just like Melo's a nightmare for people at the 4, he's a nightmare for players at the 4 and 5.
"So I've just got to get him in and get him acclimated to what we're doing, and get him comfortable. That's the key with him. I've got to get him back to feeling good about himself, because I think he's an excellent ballplayer, I do."
Woodson said he would even consider moving Melo back to small forward, which he's filled for most of his 10-year career. However, this past season, en route to become the NBA's leading scorer, he played power forward, taking advantage of slower mismatches.
Woodson will also likely weigh starting Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton together in the backcourt. When Prigioni took over as the main floor general in mid-March, the Knicks went on a 13-game winning streak.
Only training camp will determine Woodson's true intention with the starting five.
"I'm not saying who's going to start right now, but that's what camp is going to be used to evaluate," he said. "It's not like [Bargnani] has not been a starter in this league, so I have to go that route, I feel comfortable doing that as well."
GREG ODEN, ANYONE? Currently, the Heat, Spurs and Mavericks are after the injury-prone center who's been impressing in recent workouts. At this point, the Knicks haven't been in the mix for the 26-year-old Buffalo native, who last played in 2009-10 for the Trail Blazers, averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in only 23 minutes per game.
The Knicks need a defensive-minded backup center for Chandler, and Oden could be worth a cheap gamble for the minimum. An agent at NBA summer league said the Knicks should inquire, but considering the team's recent injury history -- especially involving Stoudemire -- it's likely they'll back away from Oden when all is said and done.
Would you take a chance on Oden if you were GM Glen Grunwald? Leave us your comments below.