Because of his sore left ankle, Kenyon Martin may sit again tonight against the Cavaliers. If Martin does sit, Metta World Peace will start in the frontcourt alongside Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani. That's fine, but it remains amazing to watch Mike Woodson keep pulling the slot machine handle on these Tyson Chandler-less (and now Martin-less) lineups while giving hardly any spin to the two-point-guard lineups that killed for the Knicks last season. Chris Herring asked him about that:
Asked Woody why Pablo doesnt start when he usually helps NYK get back 2 last yr's principles. "The East is big, man." Cites need to match up— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) December 10, 2013
Woodson suggested he feels Eastern Conference is too big and tough to match up with defensively w/ 2 smaller guards on the floor.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) December 10, 2013
Woodson said he might opt to go back to Prigioni at some point. But was in clear in saying he doesn't see it as ideal to start 2 smaller PGs— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) December 10, 2013
...which is just madness. The Knicks won a whole bunch of games last season by not bothering to fight size with size (and lost some in the playoffs when they did bother). And this isn't Woodson spitting illogic in October. He has the benefit of hindsight-- it is December and his team is 5-14-- and he's still dead-set on "matching up" with the teams that keep running the Knicks off the court. Simply playing two point guards more often (or just Pablo more, in general) might not be enough to turn the team around-- there are other problems-- but to not have even tried it after nearly a quarter-season's worth of horror is foolish.
And it makes me miss Cool Woody, a man who seems to have been born from Hurricane Sandy and who must have died at some point in the Pacers series. I miss the small lineups. I miss the creative sets. I miss the record-setting number of threes. I miss the massive turnover differentials (still decent, but not quite as stark). I miss this shirt and this shirt and this watch and this hat. And while I understand that the Knicks lost a couple players who made the above possible, I'm certain they still have enough of last year's team to enable Cool Woody to ride again.
Or at least try. Why not try? I saw you sneaking Pablo and Raymond Felton on the floor together for a few seconds on Sunday. Why not give that a real, earnest spin? Why not welcome Cool Woody back for just a bit, just to see what happens? You might like it.