The Knicks are 8-1 to start the season and it isn’t a fluke — this is a team that plays legitimately good defense and with Carmelo Anthony at the four (and Raymond Felton playing smartly at the point).
But there remains a big question looming about this team — what happens when Amare Stoudemire returns?
If you start Anthony at the four and move ‘Melo back to the three, are the Knicks going to look a lot like last season’s offensively challenged Knicks that were destined for a first round loss. The ones with Stoudemire looking lost and ‘Melo jacking long, contested twos.
Coach Mike Woodson isn’t worried — while the pair struggled together in Mike D’Antoni’s system they were 8-2 together for Woodson. Here is what he told Newsday (hat tip to SLAM).
“I can’t think about what happened before I took over. As a coach, I feel good about both of them playing together on the floor at the same time. That’s not going to change.”
There been talk — and I think smart talk — about bringing Stoudemire off the bench, but it doesn’t sound like Woodson is thinking that way long term. When asked more directly Woodson pretty much dodged the question.
“I’m going to address that when I get to that point,” Woodson said. “Right now, I’m just taking it a day at a time and working the guys we have in uniform as we speak.”
He can dodge it for now. But when Stoudemire returns from his October knee surgery at some point next month he is going to have to deal with it.
And the answer to that question of how the two stars play together, will determine the rest of the Knicks season.