Mike Woodson: Stoudemire’s return doesn’t guarantee starting role

11/20/12 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The New York Knicks are off to a nice 7-1 start with a patchup lineup after a few of coach Mile Woodson’s key projected starters sustained injuries. But with Amar’e Stoudemire returning from an October left knee surgery in mid-December, Mike Woodson will be facing a crucial question regarding whether to shakeup this successful lineup that’s gotten the New York Knicks to the top of the Atlantic Division.
“Again, I’ll address that when we get to that point,” Mike Woodson stated on Tuesday. “Right now I’m just taking it a day at a time and work the guys we have in uniform.’’
So far, Mike Woodson hasn’t been very forth coming regarding his future plans for the New York Knicks lineup. But naturally, Mike Woodson could be feeling a little anxious of messing things up after devising the perfect formula, which has allowed Carmelo Anthony to post an MVP like performance since he was moved to power forward in Amar’e Stoudemire’s absence.
However, the further this current starting lineup goes down the season, the more difficult it will become for Mike Woodson to make changes on Amar’e Stoudemire’s return. Still Mike Woodson expressed that at some point, Carmelo Anthony will be “getting back” to his original small forward spot.
Historically, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony haven’t always fared well when sharing the court, but Mike Woodson was confident in their ability to play together.
“Is it an overall losing record with me as the coach? I can’t think about what happened before I took over,” Mike Woodson said when reminded of the disastrous results of his predecessor’s experimenting with the starting pairing. “As a coach I feel good about both of them playing on the floor at the same time and that’s not going to change.”
Theoretically, the All-Star pairing of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony should complement each other; and that was Mike Woodson’s initial plan before Stoudemire developed a cyst on his left knee during preseason. But now with Jason Kidd in the lineup at shooting guard and Tyson Chandler starting strong at center, Amar’e Stoudemire has been projected to a bench role.
In the face of all adversities and injuries, Mike Woodson has adjusted wisely, which led the New Knicks to their best start in 20 decades.
 “I’ve been thrust into this arena because of the injuries that we’ve had and it started last season,” said Mike Woodson. “I feel like as a coach with the surrounding players we have we can make an adjustment if we need to.”
“If we need to go big I feel good about that. Eventually we’ll get back to playing Melo at some four if he starts at the (small forward),” Mike Woodson stated the inevitable. “If Melo is out there he causes problems for any team if it is at the three or the four. “
But with Amar’e Stoudemire starting at center, the New York Knicks could have a smaller and much quicker lineup that would be a lot to handle for rival offenses. Still, with both Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony starting together at center and power forward respectively, the New York Knicks become defensively weaker and short at rebounding.
At this stage any changes to the lineup carries huge risks, especially when the starters are gelling so well together. 
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