Thursday, October 31, 2013
Opening Tip: Starting five
By Ian Begley
NEW YORK -- Mike Woodson started two point guards to start the season opener against Milwaukee on Wednesday.
But don't expect to see that lineup every night.
Woodson plans to tailor his starting lineups to the Knicks' opponent early on this season.
"It's going to be based on match ups," the coach said.
That means Woodson may trot out a bigger starting lineup featuring Iman Shumpert at shooting guard and Carmelo Anthony at small forward against Chicago on Thursday.
The constant lineup changes could impact the Knicks' point guard rotation. If the Knicks start Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni in the backcourt a 2-point guard lineup, Beno Udrih has a role as the primary ball handler in the second unit. But if the Knicks play a traditional lineup, there may be fewer minutes for Udrih.
The alternating lineups also may impact the Knicks' defense. Both Woodson and Chandler said during the preseason that having a set rotation would help the team's defense. But if lineups are constantly shifting, it may be tough to establish any set rotations or lineup combinations.
So you have to wonder if the lineup changes will New York's ability to get stops.
That will likely make owner James Dolan happy. Dolan, according to sources, told staffers recently that the Knicks have enough talent to win a championship this year. So losing to Milwaukee on opening night wouldn't have been a great way to prove the owner's point.