PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Wilson Chandler
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire
C: Ronny Turiaf
After free agency ended, this was the starting lineup projected early on. While sentiment has changed since the summer, this is what the starting five should look like on opening night.
Felton is one of the co-captains of this team and he is their floor general. Raymond is a true playmaker, and his ability to create for others is head-and-shoulders above the rest of his teammates.
Wilson's name has been linked to several positions, but mainly at shooting guard and power forward. If the Knicks start him at power forward, it will only end in disaster as they have a significant disadvantage on defense and in rebounding—this was evidenced by the manhandling Chandler took at the hands of Kevin Garnett during preseason action. Chandler is a more natural fit at the two-guard and he should work in tandem with Felton quite nicely.
Gallinari is one of the Knicks' prized young possessions and he's a deadly shooter—an absolute must on any D'Antoni roster.
Say what you will about Ronny Turiaf, but he brings two important things to the starting unit: toughness and defense. While Turiaf will be starting in this scenario, it doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be getting the full set of starter's minutes and finishing the game.
When you set the tone early on with defense, it can radically alter the way the rest of the game is played. Turiaf can get the ball rolling and set an example as the other players follow suit.
It's also safer to have Amar'e in at his natural position—power forward—as it will help him save energy and avoid fouls. While he could make for some tough matchup problems on offense for any opposing center, defense is another story. Amar'e is not an enforcer, nor a particularly strong rebounder, so a true center should fill the position.