Breaking Down the Roles of the New York Knicks' Bench

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Breaking Down the Roles of the New York Knicks' Bench
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
There were points last year when the bench outperformed the starters. How will this year shape up?

As the roster for the New York Knicks currently stands, they have 19 players signed and can boast depth at all positions.

My projected starting five for the 2012-13 Knicks would be: PG Raymond Felton, SG Ronnie Brewer, SF Carmelo Anthony, PF Amar'e Stoudemire and C Tyson Chandler.

This seems by far the most likely group at opening tipoff. The remainder of the bench is mainly filled out by guards Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, J.R. Smith, and Iman Shumpert (injured), forwards Steve Novak, James White, Chris Copeland and Kurt Thomas and center Marcus Camby.

This group could change before the season begins, especially with Shumpert out until January. The Knicks have already added some players for training camp who may or may not crack the opening day roster, including rookies in guard Chris Smith (brother of J.R. Smith) and forward John Shurna.

And Nate Taylor of the New York Times reported Tuesday that the team had also taken on guard Oscar Bellfield, center Henry Sims and forward Mychel Thompson for their training camp roster. Thompson is the only one with any NBA experience and also saw time with the Knicks in summer league. Bellfield and Sims are rookies.

But any player who shows spark could make the team and contribute to the squad. Remember that guy named Jeremy Lin?

There were times last year when coach Mike D'Antoni revealed that the bench squad was "kicking the first unit’s butt" in practices (per NY Post). Sometimes, they even seemed the more dynamic unit in games. It's a much different roster this year and it will be exciting to see how it develops.

So how will the roles on the bench shake out? Well, I'll tell you.

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