With Rasheed Wallace’s emergence and Marcus Camby making his season-debut, the New York Knicks have a lot of depth in their front court and someone is going to have to be the odd man out.
On Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks, Kurt Thomas didn’t receive any playing time. Replacing Tyson Chandler, Wallace was the first big man off the bench and finished with 18 minutes. Camby saw 8 minutes in his first game of the season.
“The beauty of fielding all of these veteran guys is they have to be understandable and coachable, and they are,” head coach Mike Woodson said. “It’s no biggie to Kurt. His whole deal is I’ll be ready when you call me. That’s how it has to be with everybody. It’s not about getting minutes. It’s about what you do with the minutes you get. He didn’t get them last night. But who knows, he can get them the next game. I don’t owe anybody minutes. I’m trying to win games.”
Camby saw 8 minutes in his first game of the season, but his defensive presence should earn him more playing time in the future.
“When you look at Camby and Rasheed, those guys are just getting back out on the floor,” Woodson said. “In those eight to 10 minutes, their bodies are aching a little bit. Until we get them where we want them condition-wise to play the minutes, and grow their minutes, we have to be open-minded about it.”
What will influence Wallace, Camby and Thomas’ playing time in the future will be whether the Knicks decide they want to permanently move Carmelo Anthony to power forward and go with a smaller lineup or move him back to small forward in anticipation of Amar’e Stoudemire.
It really doesn’t seem to matter what the Knicks do though because they’re the only NBA undefeated team at 4-0 and are third-best with 104.5 points per game and first with 87.5 points allowed per game.