New York Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson will have to juggle his rotation again in the upcoming weeks with the return of Iman Shumpert.
Woodson recently had to adjust things with Amar’e Stoudemire’s return and Kurt Thomas and Chris Copeland were the guys who lost minutes, as Thomas has received a pair of DNP’s the past two games and Copeland has played only four minutes the past two contests.
But whose minutes will be sacrificed upon Shump’s return?
The easy choice is Ronnie Brewer, but keep in mind that Woodson barely plays Brewer 15 minutes per night and Shumpert will get more time than that. Also keep in mind that Raymond Felton could be returning around the same time period.
Brewer will likely be buried on the bench thanks to his struggles at both ends of the floor, but I expect Jason Kidd’s minutes to be cut as well.
With that being said, I don’t like Shumpert in the starting lineup as I would prefer him to come off the bench.
When the Knicks are completely healthy, I think Felton and Kidd should remain the starting backcourt. Things were going very well when both were healthy and Woodson should keep it that way.
But with Kidd’s age, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to start cutting his minutes.
Kidd is playing about 30 minutes per night and getting that number down to around 25 could keep his legs fresher later in the season.
While I prefer Shump at the 2, he could also play the point for small stretches, which means Pablo Prigioni could see a slight drop in minutes as well.
If you take the 15 minutes away from Brewer for now, five away from Kidd and maybe two or three away from Prigioni, then Shumpert would have at least a solid 23 minutes right off the bat.
However it is when he gets those minutes that Woodson must determine.
I like having Kidd on the floor at the end of games, but in close games Shumpert’s perimeter defense is needed.
Woodson could shift Kidd to the point to make room for Shump, but Felton’s ability to penetrate the lane is also needed on the floor late in games.
It will be interesting to see exactly how Woodson handles Shumpert’s return.
But the good news is that he has plenty of options.
You can ever have too much talent. Talent is a good problem to have.
We have been waiting all year for the Knicks to be a completely healthy basketball team and that time is coming very soon.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.