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Mike Woodson says he has ‘no idea who’s going to start’ for Knicks next season

Aug 14, 2013, 10:18 PM EDT

Image (1) woodson-thumb-250x172-10475.jpg for post 1651

The Knicks have the majority of their core returning from last year’s team that finished the regular season second in the Eastern Conference standings behind only the eventual champion Miami Heat.

But minutes or even positions won’t be guaranteed next year, because New York has added some key pieces this summer that the team hopes will take them deeper into the postseason.

That might explain Mike Woodson’s recent remarks.

From Ian Cutler of Newsday:

“That’s what we use camp for. I have no idea who’s going to start,” Woodson said. “Camp should be pretty competitive based on the talent, and that’s how it should be.”

Noticeably absent from that list of definite starters was Iman Shumpert, who started all 45 games he played in last season after returning midway through the year from an ACL injury suffered in the 2012 playoffs. Shumpert also started all 12 of the Knicks’ playoff games last season.

“You’ve got to go in and earn a spot,” Woodson said when asked about Shumpert’s status as a starter. “That’s how I look at it.”

The Knicks traded for Andrea Bargnani, signed Metta World Peace in free agency after he was waived with the amnesty provision by the Lakers, and signed veteran guard Beno Udrih, as well.

Those are all guys who should command substantial minutes, and even might force Woodson to use some unconventional lineups. Carmelo Anthony played the majority of last season at the power forward spot, and won the league scoring title while doing so. But a healthier Amar’e Stoudemire, along with Bargnani might force Anthony to play more of the three next season.

Woodson did say that three of his starters in Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Raymond Felton are locked in as of now. But given the changes to the roster, the other two spots appear to be completely up for grabs.

  1. jabronikid - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    So much money, too many talents, one great city, another year of agony…

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      Correction: So much money, not enough talent, one great city, another year of agony…

  2. adamsjohn714 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Start Prigioni at PG, Shumpert at SG, Melo at SF, Stoudemire at PF, and Chandler at C.

    Never play Bargnani. Ever. Bring JR, Felton, World Peace as your main guys off the bench. Throw Beno a few minutes here and there, along with Hardaway Jr. Perhaps Jeremy Tyler can get a few minutes because Kenyon Martin will get hurt soon.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      You’re right about Bargnani. He is below average at every NBA skill and probably shouldn’t be in the NBA. His “strength” is shooting yet he shot 39% last season? Yikes. But the Knicks didn’t trade several picks to have him ride the bench…

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:45 AM

        Well we all know that when a player is on the court, the object of the game is to put the ball through the basket.

        Comparing Melo and Bargnani in their careers as far as every 2 pt and 3 pt shot they’ve taken vs how many they’ve made and the average points per shot attempt, you ‘d be surprised at the results.

        All one needs to do is to add up the total points one has scored from made 2 and 3 pt shots (ie FG attempts while on the court) and divide by the total number of shot attempts taken and this will give you how many points they score per shot attempt.

        Bargnani, for his career, averages .92 points per shot he throws up while on the court (again combined 2 pt and 3 pt shots).

        Melo, for his career, averages .92 points per shot he throws up while on the court (again, all FG attempts while on the floor – not free throws).

        Now, when rounding farther out, Melo does have a slight advantage, but it isn’t by much.

        So think about, whenever Bargs has been on an NBA court in his career and tosses up shots (2 or 3 pointers), he averages .92 points per shot attempt, the same as Melo.

        Oh yeah, Melo doesn’t play defense either.

        But I agree with you that Bargnani is terrible. It’s just that Melo is overrated more than people realize. He scores a lot because he shoots a lot.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:47 AM

        Sorry, divide total points scored by total shot attempts taken to get points scored per shot attempt.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:26 AM

        Well ideally I wouldn’t start Melo either. But, with the amount of money he’s being paid, the rest of the roster, and the fact that coaches have stubbornly played him huge minutes his entire career lead me to believe that he will start no matter what. Personally I don’t think this roster comes within 15 games of last years record.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        I love advanced stat comparisons but I would go a slightly different route with Melo/Bargnani. What your math doesn’t account for is turnovers and free throws… basically I’m asking the question, “How many points does he score per possession used?”

        The only easy available stat for that on the individual level is true shooting percentage. Carmelo is 54.5% for his career while Bargnani is 53.5%. LeBron, by contrast, is at 57.5% for his career and James Harden is an insane 60.3%. Harden rates so highly because he shoots mostly 3’s and free throws which are both very efficient shots for him.

        Now that doesn’t give you a complete picture but it does lend some credibility to the argument that Melo isn’t an efficient scorer. I might argue that being able to score 25-30 a game is a skill in itself… Bargnani could never do that. He would likely get much less efficient as his shot volume increased. But yeah Melo is a tad overrated.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        Well PBP, the numbers generally show that as shot attempts increase, efficiency stays about the same. Players pretty much are, or aren’t, efficient. I like to use Net Points myself. Points scored – ((1 x FGA) + (0.44 x FTA). It also gives you a measure of the volume of scoring. Durant averaged over +6 Net Points a game this year, which is a mark that Jordan never reached, and is only just behind some of Barkley’s greatest scoring seasons.

  3. htownred34 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    I’m pretty sure Amare and J.R will come off the bench, so it’s not hard to predict the starting five after that…
    Pg-Felton
    Sg-Shumpert
    Sf-Melo
    Pf-Bargs ( but if take a healthy stat )
    C-Chandler
    That doesn’t look like a team getting to the ECF

  4. 00maltliquor - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    I’ll help you Woody…

    PG- Felton
    SG- Shumpert
    SF- Anthony
    PF- Stoudemire (Just to make him feel like he’s doing something, but keep his min. down, just not his spirits.)
    C- Chandler

    Off the bench…

    PG- Udrih (That’s right, not Prigioni)
    SG- Smith
    SF- Artest
    PF- Martin/ Bargnani
    C- Bargnani/Martin

    Utility- Prigioni, Hardaway Jr. (if Jr. does well when J.R. is out, if not then Tyler. Could use the size.)

    Your welcome.

    You’re welcome.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      why not Prigioni? He was really good last year and you need someone out there who doesn’t need shot attempts to be effective (or feel like they’re being effective).

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM

        You’re right. Prigioni was decent for the Knicks last year. There’s nothing wrong with him besides the fact that he’s ancient. I just feel Udrih is a very, very good backup, and better the Prig’. Nothing against Prigioni. Solid 3rd guard.

  5. legendsports124 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Melo, Bargnani ,Chandler, Shumpert and Felton. This is not rocket science.

  6. saint1997 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    Why not start MWP playing alongside Melo? He and Shump would be pretty scary on the perimeter

  7. kingwithringz - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Start Felton, Shumpert, JR, Melo and Stoudemire. Small ball dominates the league now (kudos Erik Spoelstra)…if you can start LBJ and Wade together, you can start anybody.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      ? wade and Lebron play different positions, and both are big for their respective spots. And small ball is a dumb strategy, as I’ve said before. Playing your best players is the smartest move. If you’ve got talented big guys (like George Karl in Denver) you don’t bench them for untalented small guys named Corey Brewer… (again like Karl in Denver). Small ball was a good move for the Heat when they didn’t have Birdman because they didn’t have a quality center. When he played his 12 or so minutes a night their lineups were extremely effective. That includes the playoffs.

      • kingwithringz - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        Uhhh we won 2 straight championships playing smallball. Shane Battier started for UD in 2012 in the Finals, than Mike Miller started in 2013 for UD in the finals. Pace N Space offense. You said play your best players. That Knicks Lineup I suggested are their best players.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Pretending that those guys are their best players (They aren’t, btw. Chandler…. cough cough), then that would just prove my point. Playing their best 5 players would be the strategy, not smallball. Shane and Mike Miller are/were both better than Haslem. A majority of teams get worse when they go to a small ball lineup.

  8. akronhatesyoulechoke - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Starters: Bench
    SF- Melo SF- MWP
    PF- Bargnani PF- Amare
    C- Chandler
    SG- Shumpert SG- Smith/Hardaway Jr
    PG- Felton. PG- Prigioni/Udrih
    Please don’t start Prigioni & Felton together & don’t start Shumpert at SF.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      The starting five will be Felton, Shumper, MWP, ‘Melo and Chandler with Smith as sixth man again.

  9. jtbsteeler - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    He better get it right. Phil Jackson could win a ring with this lineup…

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      hahahaha no. This team just isn’t good enough.

  10. dysraw1 - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    for me everything hinges on STAT, and where he is physically. i must say its nice to have these type problems with two almost three strong units,we should be pretty entertaining

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