Dec. 21, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Marcus Camby (23) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Should Mike Woodson start Marcus Camby?

The New York Knicks have had success this season with primarily the same starting lineup, but injuries and poor play defensively should force Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson to make a change- beginning Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs.

That change is a simple one and it involves starting Marcus Camby at the 4 instead of Kurt Thomas.

December 28, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks center Marcus Camby (23) holds onto the ball before falling out of bounds against the Sacramento Kings in the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings defeated the Knicks 106-105. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks have been getting off to slow starts defensively and have been getting crushed on the boards, both areas that Camby will help improve.

Defensively he gives the Knicks another shot blocker and a big presence next to Tyson Chandler.

Chandler had to spend the entire Portland game scrambling to make up for teammates mistakes. Having Camby behind him will allow him to do that more freely without allowing easy baskets in the paint.

When it comes to rebounding, the Knicks were outrebounded by the Blazers 26-13 in the first half Tuesday night.

Thomas just doesn’t add the same presence that Camby does.

Woodson started Camby instead of Thomas during the second half Tuesday night and the Knicks outscored the Blazers by seven when both Chandler and Camby were on the floor together the first seven minutes of the third quarter.

“I thought from a defensive presence it was pretty good in terms of protecting the interior of our defense and rebounding the basketball,” Woodson told ESPN’s Ian Begley of the Chandler-Camby pairing. “It’s something we’ve struggled with a little bit this season. I definitely liked what I saw, yes.”

The Knicks defense has not been very good as of late and Woodson has the luxury of turning to a guy like Camby to help in that regard.

Camby is a guy who hasn’t received a whole lot of minutes after missing training camp with a calf injury and then missing more time with a foot injury.

Now that he is healthy, Woodson needs to give him the opportunity and inserting Camby into the starting lineup is the way to go.

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Tags: Kurt Thomas Marcus Camby Mike Woodson New York Knicks

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