The Knicks have had almost as many starting lineups this season as losses, and Derek Fisher changed the first unit again Thursday night.
Samuel Dalembert had been the only Knick to start every game, but he came off the bench. Amar'e Stoudemire started at center in the Knicks' 90-87 loss to the Cavaliers, with Quincy Acy at power forward to guard Kevin Love. Stoudemire had 18 points and nine rebounds, Acy scored 15 points (four more than Love) and Dalembert had six points and nine rebounds in 18:01.
"As we search for what's going to work best for the team, some guys have had to kind of make some adjustments and some changes in terms of the lineups,'' Fisher said. "We're trying to work through what we need to in order to find the right combination that can sustain high performance.''
This was the Knicks' 11th starting lineup in 20 games. Dalembert and Stoudemire started Tuesday night in an attempt to combat the Nets' size, but the Knicks were beaten badly on the boards. Said Dalembert, "I don't really try to read too much into the starting lineup. To me, it's about playing. You can start and not play that much."
"I don't think it's a personal thing. I have a lot of respect for coach Fisher. If it was a case of that, he would call me and talk about that. It's nothing like that. It's just trying different things and see how it works.''
J.R. Smith had nine points in 19:01 after missing the previous game with flu-like symptoms.
With New York hosting All-Star Weekend Feb. 13-15, John Starks will be at Madison Square Garden Plaza from 10-10:30 a.m. Friday giving away 100 tickets to NBA All-Star practice and Nate Archibald will be at Barclays Center Plaza from 11:15-11:45 a.m. handing out 100 tickets for the Rising Stars Challenge. Tickets for the Celebrity Game, Rising Stars Challenge and All-Star practice go on sale Friday at NBATickets.com.