Well 2013 is underway, the New York Knicks are 2-3 and things are not looking particularly good in the proud city of Gotham. Over the course of the preseason Knicks coach, Mike Woodson, dropped many hints on the starting lineup which pointed in the direction of Andrea Bargnani starting at the four with Carmelo Anthony at the three and Tyson Chandler rounding it off with his big, bruising style of play holding up the paint at the five.
Woodson stated his “ultimate goal” was to go big in every game. Lets get this straight, starting Bargnani at the four is not going big… Its probably the polar opposite.
With Chandler now out for 4-6 weeks, it seems as though Woodson looking to play even smaller ball by putting forward, Bargnani, as the five. Read that sentence over in your head again, then read it out loud, still don’t believe me? I bet you trust Mike Woodson… As much of a shock as this is, small ball is the new motto, but assuming the bruising big man, Chandler, doesn’t suffer any setbacks than the Knicks should be back at top form in a months time.
As much as I loved the run at the end of last season in which the Knicks surged ahead of competition, running Woodson’s elusive two point guard, small ball lineup that is not the way to go in the revamped Eastern Conference and I for one am for going big, just as long as its being done right… Bargnani is a shooter, nothing more, and if he was anything less he would most likely be seeing the shining lights that are the NBA D-League.
Sure he had a solid game on Friday against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, but Bargnani isn’t the long-term answer at the five to get by for the next month or two.
Woodson should look to start a big three, defensive oriented lineup in which the three players that would make up the big three (defensive version) would be Iman Shumpert and Metta World Peace making perimeter shooting a struggle for most opposition teams, and of course the Knicks vocal leader in Chandler, manning the paint ready to make any player attempting to drive, earn their points with great difficulty.
Over the course of this season World Peace has flourished on both ends of the floor in limited minutes as he has averaged 11.8 ppg, on 46% shooting while he has been putting in work on the glass racking up an impressive 4.0 rpg while having to make up for Andrea Bargnani’s invisibility on defense, and guarding the four.
With the Knicks having struggled to begin this new NBA season, putting World Peace in at the three once Chandler is back could change the complexion of this Knicks team and could potentially change the course of what seems to be another roller coaster season in New York. While he will not solve all the problems this Knicks team presents, he will do his part and will most likely make a huge impact if inserted into the starting five.