Opening Tip: Finding Bargnani's fit

October, 2, 2013
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson will have plenty of lineup options this season. Most of his players play multiple positions, so the New York Knicks coach can mix and match his personnel as he pleases.

One of the most interesting issues surrounding the different lineup combinations involves Andrea Bargnani.

[+] EnlargeAndrea Bargnani
AP Photo/Bill KostrounHow would you work Andrea Bargnani into the rotation?
Bargnani is a talented offensive player. But he's known to struggle on defense. So the challenge for Woodson is to put Bargnani in lineups that allow him to thrive on offense and cover for his weaknesses on defense.

Does that mean Woodson should pair Bargnani alongside Tyson Chandler? This seems like a solid option, but would limit the amount of time Carmelo Anthony sees at power forward.

What about pairing Anthony and Bargnani together? Would the Knicks have enough on defense when those two are on the front line?

Could Woodson play Bargnani and Amar'e Stoudemire at the same time? Or should he stay away from that due to both players' defensive shortcomings?

All of this brings us to Wednesday's question: If you are Mike Woodson, how would you use Bargnani? Which players would you pair Bargnani with to ensure his success?

Up now: There's plenty of uncertainty about Amar'e Stoudemire's health. Mike Woodson couldn't say Tuesday if Stoudemire would be available for the season opener. Stoudemire himself didn't sound very confident about the state of his knees. Carmelo Anthony hopes to be at the "forefront" when it comes to replacing Jason Kidd's leadership in the Knicks' locker room. He's also looking forward to playing with Bargnani.

What's next: The Knicks will practice again on Tuesday. We'll continue to monitor Amar'e Stoudemire's health and will have everything else that's relevant covered on the blog.

Question: If you are Mike Woodson, how would you use Andrea Bargnani? Which players would you pair Bargnani with to ensure his success?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer



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Carmelo Anthony
24.2 3.1 1.0 35.7
ReboundsC. Anthony 6.6
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.7
StealsS. Larkin 1.2
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3