With the recent injury to Amar’e Stoudemire, the New York Knicks are expected to use a smaller lineup.
Stoudemire is expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks with a ruptured popliteal cyst in his left knee. The injury won’t require surgery, but it’s fair to whether this could potentially become a season-long problem since Stoudemire has had a history of injuries.
The Knicks showed in Monday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers that they aren’t afraid to go with a starting lineup of Raymond Felton at point guard, Jason Kidd at shooting guard, Ronnie Brewer at small forward, Carmelo Anthony at power forward and Tyson Chandler at center.
“We can mix and match based on personnel going into games,’’ head coach Mike Woodson said. “If they have a big lineup, you might want Kurt [Thomas] in the game and play Melo in his natural position. If they got a small lineup like Miami plays with [Chris] Bosh at the center and LeBron at the four, you can play Melo at the four.”
Against bigger teams, the Knicks might use a line up of Felton, Brewer/Kidd, Anthony, Kurt Thomas and Chandler. Marcus Camby is injured and Rasheed Wallace is currently trying to get back into playing shape, so Thomas likely would get the start at power forward.
Chris Copeland has been impressive during two of the Knicks’ five preseason games so far and it’s fair to wonder if he has done enough to merit a guaranteed spot on the Knicks’ 15-man roster. He averaged 27.5 points in 28 minutes per game against the Boston Celtics, but one of those games came against their backups.
The potential for Copeland is high and if Brewer proves to be close to 100-percent health-wise, Mychel Thompson and John Shurna could be the odd men out and Copeland would intriguing option for the Knicks coming off of the bench.