The Knicks are strongly considering moving Carmelo Anthony — to power forward full-time.
Anthony has started at power forward the last three games with Kristaps Porzingis nursing a sore left Achilles. When he returns, Jeff Hornacek said Porzingis could start at center, which would send Joakim Noah to the bench.
“We’ve got to look at everything,” Hornacek said. “In the long run, we’ve got to look at hey, when KP comes back, will it change everything altogether and what it will do? Sometimes it’s a chance you have to take, but we continue to look over that. We just need to mix it up maybe a little more.”
Hornacek made an unexpected change to the starting lineup in Monday’s 108-107 loss to the Hawks. He inserted Ron Baker at shooting guard and brought Courtney Lee off the bench. Mindaugas Kuzminskas started at small forward.
Before the game, Hornacek hinted that if Porzingis could play he would have started at center against the Hawks. But he was ruled out after a pregame workout. Porzingis could return Wednesday night in Boston.
Anthony has excelled playing power forward in recent years. Arguably his best season was in 2012-13, when he played power forward full-time and the Knicks won 54 games. On Monday, Anthony scored 30 points but missed a potential game-winning shot.
He’s averaged 23.7 points and shot 55.1 percent the past three games. For the season, he’s averaging 22.2 points and shooting 43.3 percent.
Noah has been a disappointment after signing a four-year, $72-million contract last summer.
Noah is averaging 5.6 points and 9.1 rebounds. He was brought in to be a defensive anchor, but the Knicks have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league, allowing an average of 108.3 points per game. Noah also came off the bench in his last season with the Bulls.
It is possible that team president Phil Jackson’s two big offseason signings — Noah and Lee — could be coming off the bench as the Knicks try to turn their season around. They have lost 14 of 18 games after starting 14-10.
Hornacek said he liked what he got from the lineup change against Atlanta and another one is coming when Porzingis returns. Playing Porzingis at center and Anthony at power forward would give the Knicks more offense and cause mismatches.
“Some day KP will come back, so that will change it again, what we do,” Hornacek said. “Obviously in this stretch we’re in, we’re looking at everything, and all possibilities.”