Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: October 3, 9:09 AM ET
PG Raymond Felton to start
By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Raymond Felton will start at point guard for the New York Knicks this season, coach Mike Woodson announced Tuesday.
Some had speculated Woodson would choose to start Jason Kidd, but the coach ended any potential drama by naming Felton his starter after the first day of training camp.
"I think he's had opportunities over the years to run teams and he's done a great job at it," Woodson said. "At the end of the day, it's still about the team. I don't think anybody else on this team is going to care who starts, but Raymond will probably be our starter."
The Knicks acquired Felton in an offseason trade with Portland after electing not to match the Houston Rockets' contract offer to Jeremy Lin.
New York hopes Felton can return to the form he showed in 2010-11 with the Knicks, when he averaged 17 points and nine assists before being dealt to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Kidd will serve as the backup to Felton, and he's fine with that.
"Ray can run the show as well as anybody," the 39-year-old Kidd said. "(My job is) to support Ray and help him with things I see and, when I go in, to get the lead or keep the lead. That's as easy as it can be."
Kidd had said earlier in the summer that it was important for him to be on the floor in the final six minutes of games. That option is not entirely off the table.
Woodson said he doesn't necessarily play his starters on the floor in crunch time -- he goes to the players who are executing best that night.
"I've always coached that way. I've coached where your best player sometimes has been on the bench (late in the game)," Woodson said. "... It's going to come down to who wants it the most in crunch time and who I believe can get the job done coming down the stretch."
Of course, Felton and Kidd could share the same backcourt. Though it would be a bit undersized, the Kidd-Felton combination could be a tough matchup for some opponents.
"You have two guys on the floor who can pass the ball and create and could score if they need to," Felton said of sharing the backcourt with Kidd. "I could see coach doing that a lot."
Tuesday was the first day of training camp for Felton and the Knicks. During the first day of camp last season, Felton found himself out of shape in Portland. It turned out to be the first day of one of the toughest seasons of his career.
Due in part to the criticism he took in Portland, the 28-year-old Felton says he's entering this season with a "big" chip on his shoulder.
"Just a lot of negative talk about just one season that I had, which wasn't a terrible season. I still averaged decent numbers last year (11.5 points, 6.5 assists), I didn't shoot it that bad (41 percent)," Felton said. "Just the fact I came in out of shape ... Everybody wanted to talk about that. It's all good. It's what the big chip is about."