Carmelo Anthony doesn't sound as if he's too big on big lineup
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Carmelo Anthony doesn't sound as if he believes in the Knicks' big lineup or agrees with Mike Woodson's decision to change the starting five based on matchups.
Woodson opened Saturday's game against the Grizzlies with a front line of Anthony, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler, and the Knicks got manhandled in the paint in their 95-87 loss.
The Knicks' most effective lineup has Anthony at power forward, but after Indiana dominated the Knicks in last season's playoffs, Woodson decided he wanted to play bigger. But Anthony isn't convinced that the Knicks can beat Indiana or Memphis that way, with good reason.
"We don't know because you never know what lineup we are going to have out there,'' Anthony said. "So that comes from day to day. That is not something that we discuss. We come in and it's on the board that this is the lineup that is going to be out there and we have to adjust from there.''
The Knicks are 0-4 when that frontcourt starts. It's a small sample because Chandler recently returned from a fractured leg. Injuries have played a major part in the fact that Woodson used his 12th different starting lineup in 26 games Saturday.
When Anthony was asked if he thinks the Knicks should have a consistent starting five, he said it isn't for him to say.
"I don't know. I don't think that's for me to answer and talk about that,'' he said. "At this point, we are going with what is on the board. If it is on the board that it is a big lineup that day, then that is what we are going with. And if it is on the board that we are going with a small lineup, then that is what we are going to go with. We got to be able to adjust to that.''
This was the latest example of Anthony's distancing himself from some of Woodson's decisions. He seems to be losing confidence in the embattled coach.
When Woodson took the blame for not calling timeout to design a final play Monday against Washington, Anthony didn't defend him, saying: "If he said it's his fault, it's his fault.''
Two days later, Anthony was asked why he hesitated when he brought the ball up for the last shot in the final seconds of that game. He answered, "I won't speak on that. I have my reasons why I was hesitant.'' Anthony appeared to be expecting Woodson to call a timeout.
Despite the big lineup, the Knicks were outrebounded 56-29 by Memphis. In the four games with the big lineup, the Knicks have been a minus-56 on the boards. They're a minus-51 in rebounds in the other 22 games.
"Tyson, Bargnani, Melo, they've got to rebound the ball better,'' Woodson said.
"That was the whole idea to start with that matchup, that lineup, to try and contain them, keep them off the boards,'' Anthony said. "We just couldn't get it done.''