New York Knicks: Should Mike Woodson Start Tim Hardaway Jr.?

By Tom Passmore
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been one of the lone bright spots for the New York Knicks this season, averaging 9.6 points per game and being among the rookie leaders in 3-point percentage. He currently comes off the bench in favor of Iman Shumpert, who has struggled all season with his shooting and even his defense at times.

Should Mike Woodson make the move to start Hardaway over Shumpert? When you look at a lineup the Knicks currently put out on a nightly basis that includes three point guards in Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Shumpert, and a frontcourt that consists of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, you’d say no because Hardaway can’t consistently defend small forwards right now.

The way Hardaway Jr. has been playing and the way Felton and Shumpert have been underperforming, I think this is a no-brainer. If you wanted to have a small lineup, you could have Prigioni running the point with Hardaway and Shumpert at the two guard positions. I think that starting Hardaway takes some pressure off of Melo in the beginning of the game due to the fact that he has to take shots at a high volume at beginning of the game due to Felton and Shumpert’s struggles.

Bringing Felton off of the bench would hopefully urge him to play better with the second unit, getting guys like J.R. Smith and Jeremy Tyler involved, as well as turning Felton into that slashing type point guard that he is without the ball dominance of Anthony.

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