When I woke up yesterday I quickly checked my phone to see if the Knicks had prevailed against the Cavaliers. They did, which was great. But soon I had to hold my breath as Carmelo Anthony stumbled over his own feet at midcourt and didn’t get up. I was sure he’d torn his ACL and that his season was done. It turned out that it wasn’t as bad as I’d first thought but he’ll probably miss a few games.
Back to the game, the Knicks trailed the Cavs at one point by 22 points. But soon Amar’e Stoudemire showed us all what he is capable of. Sure it was ‘only’ 22 points he registered but his offensive rebound and reverse layup with 44.4 left in the fourth was key to the NYK’s victory. It was great to see the old STAT in town and to see the Knicks’ bench step up when the starting lineup was struggling.
At the same time the Knicks haven’t been clicking like they were at the start of the year. Mike Woodson was making all of the right calls and mastering perfect rotations, but lately, in my mind his rotation has been questionable.
At the moment the first 5 looks like this; Felton, White, Shumpert, Anthony, Chandler.
James White is atrocious. I mean, I love his dunks but he sucks. He’s just a filler for JR but he is costing the Knicks a couple of valuable points at the start of games because of his lax approach to the defensive side of the game, he can be explosive on the offensive end but he isn’t a great player at all and right now is seriously ineffective.
Which brings me to my second point, I absolutely love Iman Shumpert. After tearing his ACL against the HEAT in last years Playoffs he has returned but has struggled in a couple of categories in the game. Right now, he plays the small forward spot but in my opinion and in his, he can’t really. Woodson played him at the two spot a few nights back and he looked right at home. He can shoot the ball better than before and still has the defensive intensity but seems lost at the 3. A switch to the off guard position would benefit him and the Knicks much more than James White does. Also you can switch him for JR if Smith begins shooting the ball non-stop.
But if Shump moves to the two who plays small forward? Obviously Carmelo Anthony moves down and you rotate Amar’e into the starting five. No you don’t. Melo’s fine at the 4. Amar’e is a fix on the bench. Queue Chris ‘CopeSanity’ Copeland. For some crazy reason Woody who favoured Cope in the rotation earlier in the season has completely let the rook go. Copeland is an out and out scorer. He provides quick points with reasonable efficiency. I like Copeland. He had been coming off the bench and had been putting up solid numbers and on the odd occasion when he started he’d usually finish around the 25 point mark. Copeland isn’t really great at anything but scoring but he is still seriously underrated. When a guy in your roster is ranked 21st in points per 100 possesions, how in gods name does it make any hint of sense to leave him out game after game? I’m not saying Copeland is vying for the new star spot on the roster but he deserves a hell of a lot more minutes than he’s getting. He could provide with that extra offensive spark they often lack early on in games.
That’s the last of any major adjustments but a couple of bench alterations wouldn’t go amiss.
First off, for now, while we’re approaching the end of the regular season it’s key to reduce JR Smith’s minutes if he continues to take horrible shots from deep. It’s not like the Knicks lack backcourt depth. Kidd can play the 2 along with White, Shumpert or even Felton if Prigioni or Kidd are filling in at the point.
Secondly, with KMart in town it could free up some rest time for Chandler so he can be ready for the Playoffs. Otherwise, the #KNICKSTAPE are bound for some postseason success.