Andrea Bargnani is still out with a hamstring injury and may remain so through the season opener. Jose Calderon will sit the final preseason game tonight to rest his sore calf, but he's fine. Quincy Acy's wrist is still bugging him.
The Knicks will start the following lineup tonight (except with Shane Larkin in Calderon's place) and Derek Fisher very nearly confirmed it'll be the starting lineup on opening night:
"It would be safe to say that would be pretty close to it" Fisher on starters for opener: Calderon, Shump, Melo, Jason Smith, Dalembert— Jonah Ballow (@jonahballow) October 24, 2014
1. Scott wins.
2. No idea if a healthy Bargnani or fully ready Acy changes things.
3. Everything up to Carmelo Anthony would be exactly my choice. A Jason Smith-Samuel Dalembert pairing up front isn't my absolute favorite, but I'm relatively happy with it. That's a reasonably sound defensive frontcourt considering the options, and both Smith and Dalembert have proven comfortable with the passing opportunities and open shots available in the Triangle offense.
4. This, of course, means Amar'e Stoudemire would come off the bench. I think of it this way: Phil Jackson said he envisions Amar'e playing four eight-minute stints a night, which is 32 minutes, which is a good helping of minutes. (Granted, he probably said that a while ago, and that's not ultimately up to him.) Whether or not Phil's words were predictive, I can imagine Amar'e playing the middles of halves and acting as offensive anchor for every minute Melo's not on the floor. That makes sense to me. The next question is how Fisher fills out lineups containing both guys, but we'll see about that.
Anyway, Fish gets one more look at game action tonight, and he's got plenty of time to change his mind. If that's the starting lineup, I think it's a fine starting lineup.