With very little cap room to work with this offseason, former GM, Glen Grunwald, and head coach, Mike Woodson, managed to bring in many new faces that are sure to give the coaching staff a lot to think about when figuring out which starting lineup works. Here are some of the ideas we had for some potential starting lineups the Knicks can run in order of best to worst.
1. Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Metta World Peace, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler
To close the regular season last year, the Knicks went on a great run which was largely due to Carmelo Anthony exploding and shooting unbelievably. But another reason he was able to do so well was because of the dual point guard lineup which introduced Pablo Prigioni into the mix. Prigioni elevated his game and the game of his fellow players, allowing for the floor spacing to work better and introducing a great pick-and-roll partner with Tyson Chandler. Adding Metta World Peace’s defense into the mix can only help with this teams defensive flaws. This lineup works well in terms of perimeter D, interior D, scoring on the perimeter, and scoring inside.
2. Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler
Let’s get one thing straight: this lineup only works if Andrea Bargnani is on form. His ability to hit the three, shoot from mid-range ,and drive to the basket allows for great spacing on the floor and allows for Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni to lurk on the perimeter. Furthermore, it allows Tyson Chandler to do work on the offensive boards and Carmelo Anthony can do his thing. Sadly for the Knicks, Andrea Bargnani has to return to the form he displayed earlier in his career. Through preseason thus far, that doesn’t seem so likely….
3. Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Metta World Peace, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler
This would be a great lineup to run, but perhaps only when the Knicks have a lead later in the second half. Having three defensive juggernauts in Shumpert, World Peace, and Chandler would allow for lockdown defense on the interior and perimeter, which could be quite useful in the closing stages of close games. However, starting this lineup could be a risk. Looking at a lot of the teams in the East, it will be vital for the Knicks to get off to fast starts, and having a team with three defense-first players would put pressure on Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton to carry the Knicks on offense. Tiring them so early on offense wouldn’t be good, but it also might not allow the Knicks to get off to those fast starts mentioned earlier.
4. Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler
This could be a boom or bust lineup for the Knicks. If all goes as planned and Andrea Bargnani hits form, it would allow the rest of the team to function in their most preferred manners. Of course, as stated earlier, it depends largely on Bargnani’s play. Shumpert would also play a big role in this lineup, because he’d need to develop a reliable jumper which could take him some time. He’s young and could grow into a great player, but these things can’t be rushed. Running this lineup early on in his career could put too much pressure on both he and Bargnani, and that may not be the best way to start a game or the season. However, if both players are in top form, this lineup could be devastating to opponents.