Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Mike Woodson plans to start big again
Mike Woodson seems committed with starting the big lineup – for now.
Woodson said he probably would stick with the five that opened last night against Minnesota: Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony tomorrow against the Bobcats.
The Knicks fell behind 40-19 at the end of the first quarter, but Woodson said he doesn’t think it’s because of the lineup. The Knicks were down 18-13 when Bargnani left the game and were outscored 22-6 after that.
“When Andrea went out of the game, it was like a three or four-point game yesterday and I took him out at the four-minute mark,” Woodson said. “I can’t blame it on Andrea. He was over with me on the bench so.
“I think that lineup, I think he is getting a little bit more comfortable but we just haven’t played him a lot of minutes. Tomorrow, I am going to start the big lineup again. Maybe I am hard-headed but I am going to start it again and just see what it looks like.”
The Knicks play better and seem to take care of the ball better when they have two point guards on the floor and Anthony at power forward.
It was successful for them last season and that was the lineup – with Felton and Pablo Prigioni in the backcourt that helped lead the Knicks back against Minnesota in the fourth quarter.
They drew within two with 4:49 remaining, but could get no closer as they made just one field goal the rest of the way.
Bargnani, a defensively liability, was having a decent offensive game, as he shot 6-for-10 and scored 14 points. But he was on the bench the last 19:19 of the contest.
The Knicks acquired him to be the secondary scoring option behind Anthony, but he’s played just 3:49 in the fourth quarter this season.
Woodson said he “thought about” bringing Bargnani back, but “the defense had held us right there. They came back big at the end and I left Melo at the four. I don’t think that killed us.”