Woodson: Knicks could start Melo and Bargnani together
If World Peace joins the Knicks, he could potentially start at small forward alongside Carmelo Anthony. However, this would likely set up Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire to come off the bench together next season. However, it shall create some unorthodox circumstances if both scoring forwards are in the second unit, along with J.R. Smith, when all three possess defensive inefficiencies. Additionally, Bargnani can’t be expected to serve as Tyson Chandler’s regular backup since he does not excel at protecting the basket.
But the way Knicks coach Mike Woodson sees it, if Metta World Peace signs with the Knicks, Woodson will have several lineup options, one of which includes starting Anthony and Bargnani together in the lineup.
"They could and we'll evaluate this. This will really be a little bit different this year,” said Woodson on Sunday. “I know we've been great with Melo at the 4, but Bargnani brings a different dimension to our team I think because he can do a little bit of everything.”
“I've got to get him up to speed defensively, but just like Melo's a nightmare for people at the 4, he's a nightmare for players at the 4 and 5,” continued Woodson. “So I've just got to get him in and get him acclimated to what we're doing, and get him comfortable. That's the key with him.”
“I've got to get him back to feeling good about himself, because I think he's an excellent ballplayer, I do."
Woodson said moving Anthony back to small forward, a position he occupied of the majority of his 10-year NBA career was another option. However, Anthony excelled at the power forward spot this past season as he learned to take advantage of slower mismatches.
Now coming towards the backcourt, Woodson will likely also consider starting Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton together there. When Prigioni took over as the Knicks’ main floor general in the backcourt during mid-march, the team won 13 straight games.
However, one will have to wait until training camp what really is going on in Woodson’s mind regarding the roles of the starting five.
"I'm not saying who's going to start right now, but that's what camp is going to be used to evaluate," said Woodson. "It's not like [Bargnani] has not been a starter in this league, so I have to go that route, I feel comfortable doing that as well."