Knicks News: Mike Woodson's Uncertainty over Starting 5 Shows Improved Depth
New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson isn't sure who he'll send out as is his starting five next season and that's a good thing.
According to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York, Woodson knows that Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton will make up three-fifths of the starting lineup, but the final two spots are still up for grabs.
It's not that Woodson is lacking for quality options. Iman Shumpert, Metta World Peace, Pablo Prigioni and Andrea Bargnani would each bring something to the starting five, but Woodson can only choose two out of that quartet.
It's a quandary that illustrates the kind of depth and flexibility that New York will have to work with this season.
While many would read between the lines of Woodson's three definite players this season and immediately assume that the center, power forward and point guard positions are filled, Woodson says that's not exactly the case:
See, you guys look at 4 and 3 and 2... I don't look at it like that. Melo's a player, man. I can play Melo at 2, and he'll be just fine. Then what would you guys be saying? No really, I don't know where I'm going to play him yet. I mean, I'm going to play him; I do know that.
Woodson might not be playing Anthony at the 2, but he does have a point. With the different pieces that the Knicks have in place, they're capable of putting out several lineup combinations that can help them adjust to their opponent.
As Zwerling points out, Woodson will most likely play Shumpert at either shooting guard or small forward, but could do one of three things with the other spot. He can play Bargnani as the primary power forward and move Anthony back out to the perimeter, move World Peace into the lineup as the starting small forward or go with a two-point guard lineup and play Prigioni alongside Felton.
Those are all three options that would provide tough matchups for other contenders in the East.
What's really scary for opponents is what it means for their bench, though.
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Last season, the Knicks had one of the best benches in the league. The New York reserves were the fourth-highest scoring unit in the league at 38.5 points per game and seventh in efficiency at 40.3 percent, per hoopsstats.com.
With Woodson giving each of those players a chance to prove themselves worthy of starting—with the possible exception of Udrih, it's a testament to just how much each of those players can contribute next season.
As the Knicks try to take the next step as a franchise this season it's clear that flexibility and depth won't be an issue for them.
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