Jan 11, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) drives toward the net during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks: Should Andrea Bargnani head to the bench?


The crown jewel of the New York Knicks offseason was the acquisition of Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors.

However as the Knicks continue to struggle, currently sitting 10 games under .500, maybe now is the time to realize the deal may have been a mistake as Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson needs to do the smart thing and send Bargs to the bench.

Jan 17, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Madison Square Garden. The Los Angeles Clippers won 109-94. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There are several reasons why Bargnani coming off the bench is the smart thing to do, but the biggest may be the mere fact that Bargs has been struggling in a big way.

He has averaged only 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds while playing an average of over 30 minutes a night in 10 January games. Bargnani’s shot simply is falling, which was a downward trend of his the past two seasons, something the Knicks should have paid more attention to.

He’s made just 18 percent of his attempts from behind the arc the past 10 games and has made more than 45 percent of his attempts from the floor only four times in that span.

Bargnani also plays very poorly when he and Tyson Chandler share the floor together.

That is becoming a big issue and it makes more sense for Woodson to go small and use Bargs to spell Chandler from time to time than it does to have them share the floor 30 minutes a night together.

It’s simply not working.

However going small is the biggest need for the change as not only did Carmelo Anthony have outstanding success playing the power forward spot last season, but the Knicks also excelled when using a two point guard lineup.

Those are two things we haven’t seen Woodson use at all this season.

But with the Knicks struggling again, would Woodson consider making a switch and have Bargnani coming off the bench?

It appears he is at least considering the idea.

“That’s a possibility,” Woodson told ESPN’s Ian Begley. “I know we were great last year with Melo at [power forward] and Melo hasn’t had an opportunity to play a lot of four this year based on, you know, Bargnani, and having Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire. You’ll probably see more four now that those guys are out. Bargnani could possibly come off and back up Tyson at the center spot.”

It makes even bigger sense now that both Stoudemire and Martin are banged up.

When Woodson wants to go big, he can bring Bargs in to play either the 4 or 5 and can also use him to spell Chandler and Anthony when needed.

Bargnani wouldn’t lose too many minutes, but him in the starting lineup playing over 30 minutes a night is not the answer.

His versatility may be suited better to come off the bench and play multiple roles.

Changes need to be made and this is one of them.



Tags: Andrea Bargnani Mike Woodson New York Knicks