The Knicks roster has gone through a noticeable transformation for the upcoming ’13-’14 season with the addition of many players such as Tim Hardaway Jr., Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace, just to name a few. Knicks also re-signed JR Smith, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin who all played vital roles in helping the Knicks to 54 wins last season.
With these changes to the roster, one has to wonder how the Knicks starting lineup will look opening night against the Bucks. Here are some possibilities:
Mike Woodson has already confirmed three starters for the Knicks: Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton. Who will fill the other two slots this upcoming season? One possibility is the Knicks sticking with the lineup which helped them go on a 13 game win streak late in the season and beat the Celtics in the 1st round.
C: Tyson Chandler
PF: Carmelo Anthony
SF: Iman Shumpert
SG: Raymond Felton
PG: Pablo Prigioni
There were many reasons as to why this lineup was so effective last season, here are the reasons:
1. Knicks had three willing passers in Prigioni, Felton, and Shumpert. With three willing passers on the floor, the Knicks could ensure that the ball would move and not remain stagnant. Also, they all have the ability to penetrate the defense which caused problems for many teams.
2. Knicks had four very capable three point shooters on the floor in Anthony, Shumpert, Felton and Prigioni. This is what made it possible for the Knicks to spread the floor and operate on offense efficiently.
3. Anthony playing PF caused many mismatch problems, which allowed Anthony to do almost anything he wanted on the offensive end of the floor.
The major flaw with this lineup was the lack of size and rebounding available on the court which led to the Knicks being dominated in the paint by bigger teams, but with the new additions made to the Knicks roster this offseason, the Knicks will be able to match up better.
Another possible starting lineup could be:
C: Tyson Chandler
PF: Andrea Bargnani
SF: Carmelo Anthony
SG: Iman Shumpert
PG: Raymond Felton
This lineup would allow the Knicks to match up better against bigger teams. Last season, against the Pacers, when the Knicks went big with Martin inserted into the lineup at PF, the reason why the lineup wasn’t effective is because it took away the spacing on the floor. Inserting Bargnani at PF would help change the dynamic of the Knicks offense and help them be more efficient offensively against bigger teams.
Bargnani could end up being a major X-factor for the Knicks this season. With him inserted into the lineup, he will allow the Knicks to space the floor and have ball movement due to his shooting ability and be able to provide more rebounding and presence in the paint. He also has a post-game that is good enough to lead to double teams which will create more open shots for the Knicks shooters.
Knicks fans should be excited about their team going into the upcoming season. Hopefully the Knicks can build on last season and push themselves to a Championship.