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Pablo Prigioni could start, Knicks may go “small” against Nets

Jan 20, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Getty Images

This is a move that will be met with applause — if not shouts of “finally” — by Knicks fans.

With the return of Pablo Prigioni Monday, Knicks coach Mike Woodson may start him and go small with his lineup. That according to the New York Post (hat tip Eye On Basketball).

Prigioni will make his return from a broken toe in the Knicks’ big showdown against the Nets in a MLK Day Matinee at the Garden at 2:30 p.m. Prigioni has missed the last 16 games after breaking his toe on Dec. 16.

Woodson liked how the Prigioni-Felton starting tandem looked down the stretch last season, and that would give him a chance to move Carmelo Anthony from small forward to power forward, where he played much of last season. Andrea Bargnani, who has been fairly inconsistent, would go back to the bench….

“I don’t know who’s going to start,’’ Woodson added. “We’ve had some success last year with playing (Pablo) and Raymond both and Melo back at the 4. I’m not opposed to going back small based on what other teams do. Unfortunately we’ve been playing teams with big 4s, and Bargnani is our big four.’’

First off coach, stop matching up with what other teams are doing — put out your best lineup and force them to matchup with you. I mean, when you played Charlotte last week you started Bargnani because of your great fear of Josh McRoberts at the four?

Next coach, I’m sure someone on the team has pointed out that when you have played Anthony, Bargnani and Tyson Chandler together this season (173 minutes) you are -7.2 points per 48 minutes. When those three are on the court together, the Knicks have a defensive rating of 113.8 points allowed per 100 possessions — 8.1 worse than your season average and 6.3 worse than the Utah Jazz’s league worst points allowed per possessions numbers. (Stats via NBA.com.)

Just to be completely clear, going big with Bargnani starting doesn’t work.

Not sure that starting Prigioni is the answer, but it’s a better option than what Woodson continues to insist to do.

  1. sellahh - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Is it really a big line-up when Bargnani rebounds like Isaiah Thomas and has the defensive impact of Earl Boykins?

  2. aht66 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    I don’t get Woodson! Why as the head coach you don’t know which players you are starting game to game. That’s ridiculous. Make other teams respect your line and have try to match with your team.

    • marcusfitzhugh - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Coaches routinely defer announcing the starting lineup as long as possible. That strategy makes it more difficult for opposing coaches to plan offensive and defensive assignments.

    • bkbell3 - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      This coach is lost. Last year for a short time they got hot with this small lineup. But felton is a career 41% shooter shooting 40% this year and all prigs does as a reluctant shooter is catch the ball and pass it left or pass it right, many times with less than 5 seconds left on the shot clock that makes a player shoot a crap shot.On the Texas trip beno played well, he can penetrate and finish at the rim or shoot a pull-up jumper.They had much success with pick and roll at the ELBOW with statt and martin and even that useless Tyson and with melo as the ball handler also.Now with Tyson back they’re back to P and R with Tyson past the 3pt line and most of the time felton goes around the pick and crosses over and cuts in front of tyson and he can’t even roll to the basket. Plus tyson can’t pick and pop and if he is not right at the rim when he catches it he is a horrible finisher unless its a perfect lob. God help him if he has to dribble it once and make an adjustment.Also the three point line is too far to roll, a wing guy can show on Tyson quickly then recover back to his man on the perimeter and teams just make felton a jump shooter off those picks and he sucks. They need to set picks for hardaway,melo stat,shump etc.like Boston and miami does for ray allen away from the ball to get them open looks or they can hit the guy that sets the pick when he rolls which is always open. Instead shump and hardaway are standing in the corner 3 passes away hoping it gets swung to them.There is no PLAYER movement,no back door,no one cutting etc.to make the defense move. No inside out then swing the ball and no penetration and kick then swing the ball and like beno does sometimes when its swung to him he will penetrate from the wing and create something. This is all basic basketball that the good teams do but this coach has no decernable offense just like in Atalanta he had iso-joe now he has iso-joemelo and iso-jr.joe.He said he was going to talk to shump and give him some love, how about maybe COACH HIM and run some plays for him. With melo at the four they are undersized at every position and melo is the only scorer and the only one that can create a shot for himself and he has statt,martin and bargs lined up behind him and now you have 3 shooting guards in jr,shump and hardaway on the bench unless one of them start at small foward. This knicks team: Jesus take the wheel. lol

  3. antistratfordian - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Seems to be working really well for them.

    • bkbell3 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Starts prigs after missing 16 games {rusty} plays him 5 min. then sits him till 20 seconds left in the half. Shump starts good and he pulls him till late in the second quarter. Every possession started with a Tyson pick and roll past the 3 point line and felton never once looked for Tyson early or kept advancing the ball and hit Tyson late at the rim. He put beno in for a couple of min. and beno got into the lane a couple of times then he sits him . Constant subbing and pulling guys. A couple of times prigs with ball late in shot clock and can’t create or get a shot off so he dumps it to a guy who is covered with 3 seconds and another time throws it away trying to force it to Tyson with 2 seconds left. Has new guy Tyler on the bench who is big and active so lets see what he can do.See my comment above, this game is progressing just like almost every loss this year though early they did set some picks for the wing guys but half the time felton passed it to the opposite side of the floor. I’m going to throw up a little in my mouth after i say this but i almost wish for d’antoni bac bac bac, na i can’t finish that its to painful cause now he is killing my other favorite in LA.lol

      • antistratfordian - Jan 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        I’m telling you, friend – the right time to get rid of Woodson came and went long ago.

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