Three keys for Knicks in second half

New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson directs

New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson directs his team during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers. (Jan. 26, 2013) (Credit: AP )

Start fast

This holds true for individual games and out of the break. The Knicks can't keep falling behind early and playing catch-up. Mike Woodson should consider a lineup change. Five of their first eight games are against sub-.500 teams, and they have to capitalize.

Health and freshness

The Knicks need their older veterans and key players who play a lot of minutes to be as right as possible mentally and physically for the postseason. Woodson might want to consider giving guys some games off.

Road warriors

The Knicks have a five-game western trip and 18 road games overall, including the Thunder, Heat, Clippers, Celtics, Bulls and Pacers. It's a tough schedule, but the Knicks must show the focus and defensive commitment that led to early season success.

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