Adam ZagoriaThis much is clear after Day One of Knicks’ training camp for the 2013-14 season: Coach Mike Woodson thinks very highly of Andrea Bargnani and could opt to start him at the 4.
The 7-foot Bargnani wore a blue starter’s jersey for the portion of practice that was open to the media and Woodson could start Bargnani at the 4 and Carmelo Anthony at the 3 in a “big lineup” that could also include Raymond Felton at the 1, Iman Shumpert at the 2 and Tyson Chandler at the 5.
Asked if he was OK with Bargnani potentially starting at the 4, Melo said, “I’m cool with it but it’s up to Coach Woodson. It depends on what he sees with the team, with the lineup.”
“Absolutely,” Woodson said Tuesday. “I think you can play a big lineup with what we’ve got, as well as Melo at the 4, where he’s been very good at it. So I’m going to have some options this year. We had some last year. There were times when we had Rasheed playing the 4 and Melo was playing the 3. So a guy who could stretch it like Bargani, as well as post it and put the ball down, that helps you.”
“I’m looking forward to getting up and down the court with Bargnani,” Carmelo said. “I know his capabilities, I know what he’s about. I know what he can do and for me it helps me out a lot now to have another stretch 4 that can stretch the court, that can shoot, that can create off the dribble, create for him, create for others.
“It’s another weapon that we have.”
Harris DeckerIt’s interesting that Woodson tipped his hand after just one day of training camp. Obviously, Bargnani is an immense talent that has a ton to prove in New York. What this does more than anything is make me question the status of Amar’e Stoudemire’s knee. If he is out for any amount of time, Bargnani becomes an immediate impact scorer for the Knicks and if Woodson’s comments tell you anything it’s that he’s very much in the mix.
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.