New York Knicks: 3 Rotation Changes NY Knicks Should Make

Andrew BurtonCorrespondent IIIJanuary 11, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: Tiago Splitter #22 of the San Antonio Spurs attempts to block a pass from Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 3, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Although the New York Knicks are playing incredible basketball, there are some rotations that they could try and use to pad that Atlantic Division lead.

Through the first 34 games, Coach Woodson has mixed and matched this New York Knicks' rotation—some days using a small lineup and other days using a bigger rotation. He's gone with a two-point-guard backcourt, two centers in the frontcourt and even a three-forward rotation.

However, he's failed to try out these three changes that could propel New York in the standings down the long run, guaranteeing them a spot for June basketball.

Let Chris Copeland Get More Playing Time

Chris Copeland needs to see more playing time and a bigger role in Woodson's rotation. 

Copeland is shooting 40 percent from three-point land and 49 percent overall from the field. He's got a promising future, and with his scoring, he relieves the workload of Melo and other scorers that could use some bench time. 

The 28-year-old power forward is something special, and the more time he spends on the hardwood the more he learns. The more he learns the better prepared he is for a deep playoff run.

The rookie never gives up on plays, and he's constantly running up and down the court. He is also an above average defender and a perfect fit for a Mike-Woodson-coached team.

In the four games that Copeland has seen extended playing time—where he's been on the court for more than 20 minutes—he's excelled and averaged 19 points. In those same games—minus the one against the Brooklyn Nets—the man ahead of Copeland on the depth chart has averaged six points, and that player is Steve Novak. 

For Copeland to get this increase, Steve Novak is going to see a cut in his minutes.

Cut Back on Steve Novak's Time on the Hardwood 

Novakaine was scorching from three-point land last season, however, it's a different story in 2013.

Even with a six-minute increase in playing time, Steve Novak is averaging a point less than he did last year. That's not all; his field-goal percentage has dropped from 48 percent to 42 percent.

He's only averaging 7.6 points per game, and although this could be worse, Copeland just appears to be more productive than Novak.

Novakaine is typically great for a three-point shot, but he's got no depth to his game.

In fact, that's all Novak is good for—shoot a three ball. Defenders have seen Novak enough to know that he won't drive to the basket. Worst case scenario, Novak takes a dribble and tries to pop it from a foot or two ahead of the arc.

When he does hit a three, it's beneficial to the team. However, his presence on the court against a team that knows how to defend Novak is detrimental. If he's not making the three-ball than New York will die from his attempts.

Cutting back on some of his time would certainly assist in a higher Knicks' field-goal percentage, and as previously stated, it'll put Chris Copeland on the floor some more.  

Give Pablo Prigioni Some Extra Burn

Woodson should also try giving the 35-year-old Pablo Prigioni some extra time on the floor. 

Pablo isn't a bad point guard and being surrounded by a scorer like Carmelo Anthony can't hurt him or his assists numbers. It'll also be great to see Prigioni work the pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler more often.

With Raymond Felton out a few more weeks, Prigioni has seen his workload increase. 

He has gone from playing five minutes on Christmas day against the Los Angeles Lakers to averaging 19 minutes a game, including 27 against the San Antonio Spurs on January 3.

In that same span, Prigioni has reached nine assists twice. With the right guys surrounding him, the point guard has the potential to peak and showcase just why the Knicks have pushed to sign this guy over the last few years. 

I know someone that wouldn't mind sharing the floor with the Argentinian a little more, and that person is shooting guard J.R. Smith. These two have developed into quite the duo. In case you don't remember, that lovely alley-oop against San Antonio came from Prigioni—it also ballooned the Knicks' lead to 20. 

The more time that Pablo sees on the floor the more chemistry he'll develop with the other members of the team.


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