Tonight we will see the New York Knicks’ backcourt at full strength for the first time all season. Mike Woodson has been able to mix and match his 1-3 positions all year so far pretty nicely. Knicks fans know how much Raymond Felton means to this team and how he makes the offense go.
The Knicks starting lineup tonight in Philadelphia will be as follows:
PG – Raymond Felton – 15.8 PPG, 6.3 APG
SG – Jason Kidd – 8.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.0 APG
SF – Iman Shumpert – 6.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG (Only played 3 games, 20 MIN a game)
PF – Carmelo Anthony – 29.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG
C – Tyson Chandler – 12.1 PPG, 10.9 RPG
Knicks nation is ecstatic to have Felton back in the lineup, as the Knicks were 20-8 with him in the starting lineup and 6-6 without him. It’s hard for any team to consistently win without their floor general playing, so Knicks fans weren’t panicking too much with the Knicks recent play.
It will be very interesting to see what Mike Woodson is going to do with his rotation. He basically has two point guards, a shooting guard, a small forward who can pay the stretch four, and a pure center in his starting lineup. I have no problem with this lineup, with two defensive players, one guard and one big man, on the court at the same time, along with offensive playmakers in Carmelo and Felton. Kidd is a do-it-all player so it’s hard to take him out of the lineup, as he started 35 out of the 36 games he’s played in.
J.R. Smith and Pablo Prigioni should still see their playing time when the starters need rest, along with a rejuvenated Amar’e Stoudemire off the bench. Woodson should try to get Amar’e and Felton on the court as much as possible since it’s no secret they feed well off each other. Felton and STAT haven’t played together in nearly two years, since the 2011 All-Stat break in February 2011. It will be very interesting to see if or when Woodson puts Stoudemire in the starting lineup with Felton since he has come alive in these last couple games.
If Amar’e finally gets his first start of the season, who will come off the bench? It will come down to either Shumpert or Kidd and it seems like Woodson loves Shumpert in the starting lineup, wasting no time putting him in there as soon as he was healthy to play. A bench of Jason Kidd, J.R Smith, Pablo Prigioni, Steve Novak, Chris Copeland, and a healthy Marcus Camby isn’t too bad.
As the Knicks starting getting to full strength, Mike Woodson will have to make big decisions on his lineup and rotation. We would all love to see everyone healthy from here on out so we can start seeing defining roles and minutes, along with continuity (thanks Clyde).
Felton is a big part of the Knicks present and hopefully future success, and Knicks fans couldn’t be happier to have him back.