The New York Knicks will likely move forward from Tyson Chandler's broken leg with a small starting lineup, and head coach Mike Woodson told ESPN New York that could include starting Andrea Bargnani at center. Defensively, Bargnani starting at center could be questionable for the Knicks, but they have little other choice.
Not that much went right for Andrea Bargnani last yr, but at PF, his PER/48 was 13.6 and his opps' was 16.6. At C: 7.0 for him, 17.1 for opp— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) November 7, 2013
But it's not just an issue with Bargnani, who is averaging 8.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per game and through four games has yet to record a block.
Sliding the power forward to center will effectively move Carmelo Anthony from small forward to power forward. Woodson said he could fill in the starting lineup with an ultra-small lineup of point guard Raymond Felton, point guard Pablo Prigioni and shooting guard Iman Shumpert. The Knicks could also potentially start guard J.R. Smith in place of Shumpert.
Smith is coming off a five-game suspension for violating the NBA anti-drug policy.
In the paint, center Cole Aldrich, who hasn't played this season, could see increased minutes, but the big man depth in New York ends there. Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin also could see increased minutes, but with their age, they will be on minutes restrictions and won't be available for more than 20 or so minutes per game.
Chandler suffered a non-displaced fracture to his fibula and will miss the next four to six weeks.