Mike Woodson happy with his rotation of point guards
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"That's a business decision," Woodson said before the Knicks played the Rockets. "I don't think it was difficult. We just decided to go in a different direction, based on the guys I thought I liked in terms of Raymond, Jason and Pablo. They've been great for us. We got to continue to push them and coach them to continue to play at a high level to help us win."
The Knicks faced Lin Friday night for the first time since letting him go to the Rockets without much of a fight. Lin had a terrific run for the Knicks, averaging 18.2 points and 7.7 assists in 25 starts last season. But Linsanity officially ended when the Rockets offered him a three-year, $25.1-million deal that included a $14.9-million payment in Year 3.
The Knicks acquired Felton in a sign-and-trade from Portland and let Lin walk. His total contract over four years ($14.8 million) is less than what Lin will make in Year 3 of his deal.
"It was a good run, but we went in a different direction," Woodson said. "We went out, we fielded guys like Kidd and Raymond and Pablo, guys we felt can help us, and they've been great for us. Ever since we've fielded those guys, been able to touch them a little bit this summer, those guys were able to come into camp in pretty damn good shape, it's been a nice carryover for our ballclub.
"The Jeremy Lin thing is behind us and we've moved on in another direction. We wish Jeremy nothing but the best here in Houston until he plays us."
Lin took averages of 10.0 points (he was shooting 33.3 percent from the field), 6.3 assists and 2.8 turnovers into the game.
Before free agency and at the start of it, Woodson repeatedly said the Knicks "absolutely" would match any offer for Lin. After the Rockets' initial offer of three years guaranteed for $19.5 million was reported, Woodson said the Knicks "never once" blinked. He expected Lin to be their starting point guard this season.
"Things change," Woodson said. "It happens in sports all the time. Hey, we have Raymond, we have Kidd and we have Pablo at point guard -- end of discussion. I don't know what more you want."
In training camp, Tyson Chandler said the point guards the Knicks have now are better equipped to run this veteran team than the still-unproven Lin would have been.
"As far as being able to run the offense and putting players in the right positions, he just wasn't there," Chandler said in October. "We got some veteran point guards that are capable of doing that."
It certainly seems to have played out that way thus far.
The Knicks took an 8-2 start into Friday night's game, with Felton averaging 15.7 points and 6.9 assists. Kidd's numbers were 8.3 points and 3.3 assists. Prigioni was averaging 2.4 and 2.7 in 13 minutes off the bench.
"We're happy with the three guys we brought in, without a doubt," Woodson said. "Absolutely. Very happy. I am."