Tonight we witness the return of Raymond Felton. Ray was and most likely will be their starting point guard for this team for the rest of the year unless we watch a complete adjustment to Mike Woodson’s philosophy.
Is handing Ray his starting job back, and large amount of minutes, while sacrificing minutes to Toure’ and Tim Jr. is the right thing to do? I would say absolutely not! Ray is one of the reasons why this Knicks team has started the season off so poorly. His inability to penetrate and get other players involved is one of the main reasons why this team has struggled so mightily. Since the emergence of Toure’ in spot minutes the Knicks offense has been steady and reliable; something that has not happened under the direction of Felton.
Even Beno Udrih, who has his bad moments as well, has given the Knicks a boost on the offensive end with his deep drives and kick-outs to open shooters and “slashers”. All of these offensive positives we did not witness under the leadership of Raymond Felton this year so far.
Defensively Raymond was as sieve. Beno is not much better, but at least on the offense he helps guide the Knicks on sustained runs. Ray has been a major step back on this front, and even though he has had his positive moments, I would not risk the chemistry disruption since this team has been playing well the past few games.
When Toure’ is in the game he an Shump “are lock down” defenders on the perimeter, something that I put a lot of stock in, and I believe is underestimated in every way. I truly believe Toure’ Murry should get at least 20+ minutes a night.
My rotation would consist of Pablo as the starter and Toure’ and Beno off the bench in that order. I think the time of Raymond Felton has come and gone, and now the Knicks should be looking to move him by the trade deadline.
The last thing Woody and the Knicks should do is to insert Ray back into the rotation and allow then to slip back into their funk that we all witnessed the last 11 weeks. The Knicks have taken a huge step forward, please do not take another 2 steps back with the same old players and rotation that has put this team in the basement of the Eastern Conference.