Nothing Mike Woodson has said at training camp represents a concrete decision, and nothing will for a while yet. We've been wondering all offseason how-- if at all-- Woodson would change or build on last season's approach with a slightly modified roster. So far, we've gotten mere whiffs of clues. Woody says he wants a top-ten defense, he sees threes and fours as interchangeable-- stuff like that. Today, he got juuuuust a bit more specific.
Woodson has been running a "blue team" frontcourt of Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, and Tyson Chandler during the open portions of scrimmages. That alone isn't enough to make any guesses, but when pressed after practice today, Woodson suggested he'd give that lineup a real try, and with a bigger guy like Iman Shumpert (who's been resting a sore shoulder) at the two instead of a second point guard like Pablo Prigioni.
Now, for those of us (myself included) saying "hey, but wait a minute, playing with two point guards and Melo at the four worked so well last year! Why go away from it?": Breathe. It'll be okay. Woodson knows the little lineups are a great option. He hasn't forgotten about smallball. Camp and preseason are a fine time to experiment with a more traditional lineup that-- if Bargnani can regain some form-- could still spread the floor for Melo while adding size (if not necessarily quality) on defense. That's why they have training camp and games that don't count. So you can figure out what the hell to do with Andrea Bargnani.
The other thing preseason is for: Young bros.
Woodson said the young guys would get the bulk of the minutes in preseason and the last game or two he would use his set rotations.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) October 6, 2013
And on that note:
Hard to know how to read that-- does that mean he intends to sign only one of those three? Or does he mean like at least one? Woody's so ENIGMATIC.
Anyway, those are the kinds of things we're getting from Mike Woodson in camp. No set answers; no commitments. Just suggestions of things he might try in games that don't count. At least we have this:
Sounds like the #Knicks plan to shoot 3s at or near the pace they established last year. "I’m not going to ever take that away," Woody said.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 6, 2013
Update: Ian Begley's full article is right here.