Leave Your Ego At The Door.
I am a huge believer that TEAM WORK makes things easier to achieve anything in life. It is even more crucial in high level sport.
I think Coach Woodson needs to preach this a lot and get the Knicks players to buy into this philosophy.
“I will play my part on and off the court, it is not about my stats, IT IS ABOUT WINNING FOR NY.”
I have been thinking long and hard of late about what might be the best way for the Knicks to really explode as a basketball team.
The conversations I have had recently about getting another “name” player like KMart or Delfino for example, might annoy some players with regards to playing time.
If I was Coach Woodson I would say “You either do what I ask, or the door is across the gym”.
With Shumpert out I have had a look at the players we currently have on the roster and placed them into 1st and 2nd units that I believe could work and be successful.
This Knicks team has gotten older and I strongly believe it would be a smart move to really share the minutes and try to keep players healthy and fresh for the long season campaign.
I would share each position between two players and play the same game plan with both units.
1st Unit PG – Kidd SG – Brewer SF – JR Smith PF – Anthony C – Chandler
2nd Unit PG – Felton SG – Prigioni (Shumpert) SF – Novak PF – Stoudemire C – Camby
We all know that Woodson likes to run a 2 guard system. I think with these guys running the point in both units we would find a lot of players in open positions.
I have placed Kidd and Brewer as the starting PG/SG because both players would have a lot of respect for Melo and vise versa. They would both work hard to get Melo in the right spots and create opportunities for each other.
For similar reasons, I placed Felton and Prigioni as the 2nd unit PG/SG combo. They both have the capabilities to run the point and run very decent P&R with Stoudemire. Felton already has a history with Stoudemire that might only get stronger and Prigioni might add another dimension to Stoudemire’s game. When Shumpert returns I would have him replacing Prigioni in this 2nd unit.
The reason behind starting JR is because I think he wants to play alongside Kidd. There must be a lot of respect for what Kidd has achieved in his career. It might also make JR work even harder for open shots rather than trying to play poor ISO basketball. Novak coming off the bench is as we know a very dangerous addition. Having Novak replace JR, the Knicks would have a long range threat in both units on the floor at all times.
As you can see Anthony and Stoudemire are placed on different units. I would have them sharing the PF position. After seeing what Anthony did in April at the PF spot while Stoudemire was out showed me that his best spot is as a PF. It would allow both Anthony and Stoudemire to take leadership of their units and make them both the main scoring option, which I think would create a lot of issues for opposing coaches.
I also think that with Anthony at the 4 he will collect a lot more rebounds on both ends of the floor and work harder on defense. Anthony and Chandler are currently playing as the 4 & 5 in the USA team and it seems to be working at all levels. Stoudemire’s lack of defense would be strongly helped by the shot blocking and rebounding ability of Camby.
Now for the Centers, Camby is the obvious choice to replace Chandler and what a tandem this is going to be. Chandler can now go flat out knowing he has a quality back up on the bench. I expect both players to feed off each other’s energy and achievements.
In closing I know Anthony and Stoudemire won’t play on totally different units for a full game. I do believe that applying a lineup like this would strongly improve the team in many ways but if this was to happen would the players all buy into it?
Sometimes making individual sacrifices for the team can actually be more rewarding in the end.
Leon Jacobsen Knickswag Contributor