USA TODAY Sports
Cope may or may not have proved his point with a ton of garbage time points against Utah.
One byproduct of the Knicks' shorthandedness last night was that Chris Copeland finally got to spin after weeks without a minute and months outside the rotation. Copeland only got to play seven minutes, all of them in garbage time, but got a whole lot done in that brief stint. As is his wont, Cope came out firing, throwing together a 12-point (4-6) scoring line before the final buzzer cut him short. That torrent of points emboldened reporters to ask Mike Woodson about Copeland's situation going forward, and Woodson hinted at a possible return to regular usage:
"Cope can score the basketball," the coach said. "On our bench, I need guys that can score. I'm not going to hesitate to throw Cope in because I know he can do that. He does it very well. I've just got to get him committed on the other end. I wouldn't be doing my job if I just let him go one way. Tonight, I thought he proved a little bit that he deserves to be on the floor."
I share the opinion with a lot of y'all that Copeland should at least be getting spot minutes, if not a consistent role. Copeland's defense is pretty poor, but he's no worse than, say, Steve Novak, and his offensive repertoire is more versatile than Novak's and far above that of James White, who's been starting. This isn't necessarily to advocate for the benching of those other bros as much as it is to say: If those guys deserve minutes, why not Cope? Cope himself said pretty much the same thing by hitting jumpers and getting to the line a couple times (albeit against the Utah scrubs) when given some minutes Saturday night. Whether that's enough to earn back a rotation spot from Woodson remains to be seen. Cope might be better off clotheslining someone in practice if he's trying to prove his worth to Woody.
In closing: COPELANDIAAAAAAAAAA!