Thomas starting, expect more Camby

BROOKLYN -- With Jason Kidd out with back spasms, Mike Woodson called up Kurt Thomas to the starting lineup for Monday night's highly-anticipated matchup against the Nets. That means that Carmelo Anthony will move to small forward, with Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer and Tyson Chandler rounding out the five.

With the adjustment, expect more of Marcus Camby because of the Nets' frontcourt.

"I thought Marcus looked sharp the other night in the minutes that he played," Woodson said pregame. "There's a chance he'll play some tonight. They have a big frontline and that gives us an opportunity to look at our bigs as well."

Chandler will obviously be asked to play the biggest defensive role facing Brook Lopez, who's been having hot starts (and games) just like Anthony. While Melo is averaging an NBA-best 10.9 points in the first quarter, Lopez is second (7.9) with a minimum of 10 games played. They're both among the league leaders in points per game.

Fortunately for the Knicks, Chandler, who bumped his left knee against the Rockets and was wearing a brace against the Pistons, is ready to go tonight.

"He hasn't given me any indication (he's hurt)," Woodson said. "I saw the brace, too, but Tyson's going to play. He's that type of competitor, so I'm not too worried about Tyson."

Woodson said it was the first time he's ever been to Brooklyn. Now that he's here, he knows how critical it is to control the Nets' star backcourt featuring Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.

"Big problems," he said. "But I feel good about our guys. We're pretty big as well and it should be a good match."

Woodson actually coached Joe Johnson in Atlanta from 2005-2010 and said, "He's going to score points, but you just can't let him go wild."

That's exactly what Avery Johnson is telling his guys about Anthony.

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