Mike Woodson unsure of Knicks' starting lineup
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- All the talk this offseason has been about the Nets' starting five with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being traded from Boston and joining Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams under new coach Jason Kidd.
But Knicks coach Mike Woodson isn't sure what his starting five will look like heading into the season. Woodson was asked about his lineup during an appearance at the Garden of Dreams Foundation's fifth annual Dream Week at the Knicks' training facility yesterday and only would guarantee spots to three players: Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
"That's what we use camp for. I have no idea who's going to start," Woodson said. "Camp should be pretty competitive based on the talent, and that's how it should be."
Noticeably absent from that list of starters was Iman Shumpert, who started all 45 games he played in last season after returning midway through the season from an ACL injury suffered in the 2012 playoffs. Shumpert also started all 12 of the Knicks' playoff games last season.
"You've got to go in and earn a spot," Woodson said when asked about Shumpert's status as a starter. "That's how I look at it."
Woodson, however, did praise Shumpert's progression, saying his jump shot has "definitely improved" and with more time he will get even better.
Woodson also said he wasn't sure how he would use Anthony, who played most of last season at power forward and won the league scoring title with an average of 28.7 points per game. With Amar'e Stoudemire and newly acquired forward Andrea Bargnani in the mix for playing time, Woodson could move Anthony back to his original position at small forward, though he wouldn't say what his plan is just yet.
"Melo is a player. I could play him at the [two-guard] and he'd be just fine. I don't know where I'm going to play him yet," Woodson said. "I'll play him, I know that, but we have to find two other bodies that fit that starting lineup and who that's going to be at this point, I don't know."
Woodson also addressed the Nets and Kidd. "I wish him nothing but the best until he plays the New York Knicks, and that's how it should be," Woodson said in response to a question from one of the children on hand for the event.
"There are a number of teams that made some great moves, and only time will tell," Woodson said. "It'll be a nice fan base in terms of us competing against Brooklyn, but it's not just about Brooklyn."
The Knicks acquired Bargnani, a former No. 1 overall pick, in a trade from Toronto, and added Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih in free agency.
Woodson was particularly excited about the addition of Udrih to replace Kidd. "We needed a third point guard and Beno has got playoff experience," Woodson said. "I like him because he's not afraid to make plays, he can run a basketball team, and if he has to make a big shot he's capable of doing that. He'll be a great addition to our ballclub and with Raymond and Pablo [Prigioni] at the other two point guard spots, camp should be pretty competitive."