Answer to @ianbegley Stick with Big Lineup? "NO" but not because they are bad
Espnnework.com's Ian Begley asked in Opening Tip this morning should the Knicks "Stick with Big Lineup?" Simple answer is "NO". But not for the reason most would expect.
In my opinion it has nothing to do with Bargnani or that the Knicks bigs have been bad. If you break down last nights game, Bargnani did a decent job on Love. In the first 6 minutes of the game Love was 1 for 3 from the field with 2 points and 1 travel. Now it was early and I'm sure he needed time to warm up, but Bargnani's length bothered him, he forced love into an awkward post move and as mentioned earlier a travel. Knicks were up 3, then the turnovers started. Bargnani was guilty of the first turnover. Knicks guards committed two more turnovers. Not only did the Knicks suffer from turnovers, but Minnesota's guards frequently leaked out after missed shots for easy layups. By the time Bargnani left the game the Knicks were down five, Love was 2 for 4 with five points with both made shots coming after Bargnani switched and a fast break. At 4:43 Woodson brought Tim Hardaway Jr. into the game for Bargnani (might I add ahead of Prigioni). Instantly Hardaway had any alley oop to Chandler, but on the other end, Love posted up Anthony, trying to fight off Love, Anthony picked up his second foul. His first came on a leak out layup attempt by Corey Brewer. At this point the flood gates opened. The Knicks continued to turn the ball over, miss shots and give up easy fast break layups. Knicks went away from the big lineup down five, ended up down 21 by the end of the first quarter.
In the first quarter of the game vs Chicago, Bargnani's length bothered Boozer, it wasn't until Amar'e entered the game that Boozer started getting hot.
It's not the big lineup that is the issue. The issue is related to guard play. Felton and Shumpert are somewhat turnover prone and don't always make patient decisions. This is where Jason Kidd is missed, but also the reason Prigioni was made a priority in the offseason. When Prigioni is in the game he understands where and how to get the ball to players in good positions. He is patient and methodical on offense and his defense bothers opposing guards. Prigioni needs to be in the starting lineup.
I support going away from the big lineup. Not because our big guys have been bad, Anthony, Chandler, and Bargnani put in 46 points and 29 rebounds last night. The Knicks actually won the rebounding battle vs a bigger and stronger team in the post. I support going away from the big lineup to promote better ball handling, and ball movement.
Since Woodson is experimenting, maybe he should try Prigioni, Felton, Anthony, Bargnani and Chandler. Or Prigioni, Shumpert, Anthony, Bargnani, and Chandler. Or just stick with what has worked, Prigioni, Felton, Shumpert, Anthony and Chandler. Some how, some way, Prigioni needs to be in the starting lineup.