Woody leaning toward starting Melo at PF

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson hasn't made up his mind yet, but it sounds as if he'll start Carmelo Anthony at power forward in the Knicks' season opener Wednesday.

"We've been successful here with Melo playing a lot of 4 and we haven't experimented a whole lot with him playing [small forward] until this exhibition season," Woodson said Tuesday. "So I just feel like I don't want to go away from it a lot in terms of him playing at the 4 spot. But I have options."

Woodson said he will announce a starting lineup Wednesday. For much of the preseason, he talked about wanting to start Andrea Bargnani at power forward and Anthony at small forward.

But his thinking has changed in recent days. Now it appears most likely that Metta World Peace will start at small forward and Anthony will start at power forward when New York opens the season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Anthony played power forward for 48 percent of the Knicks' minutes last season, according to 82games.com. And he had great success at the position. Surrounded by shooters, Anthony's reps at power forward allowed him the space to score on the wing and in the post against bigger, slower defenders. The perennial mismatch helped Anthony win the league's scoring title with a 28.7 points per-game average.

Anthony said on Tuesday said all of the Knicks are "on board" with him playing power forward again this year.

"I didn't expect it. We didn't expect it. But that's what he's going with," Anthony said. "I think guys are ready for this move and everybody seems to be on board with that. Whatever position we have to play, we have to go out there and do it."

Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert will start in the backcourt for the Knicks. If Metta World Peace gets the starting nod Wednesday, it will leave Bargnani, the Knicks' big-ticket acquisition, on the bench.

Bargnani, a former No. 1 pick, struggled on both ends of the floor in the preseason.

He shot just 38 percent in seven preseason games and the Knicks were outscored by 65 points in the 170 minutes Bargnani spent on the floor.

It should be noted, though, that Bargnani was bed-ridden for four weeks shortly before training camp due to pneumonia. He admittedly is still playing his way into shape.

"I always liked the young man as a basketball player and I was glad we had an opportunity to pick him up this summer," Woodson said of Bargnani. "I've got to coach him up, get him playing at a high level and doing the things that we want him to do here in New York."

For what it's worth, Anthony has said repeatedly that he doesn't care what position he plays.

"I've been successful in this league at the 3. Last year I was successful at the 4, so whatever adjustments we have to make, I have to make. I'm willing to do that," he said.

New York also had success using a two-point guard backcourt late last season. With Felton and Pablo Prigioni starting in the backcourt, New York reeled off 13 straight wins.

Woodson did not rule out the possibility of playing that lineup, but it sounds like he's committed to starting the season with a traditional starting five.

"I could always go back to that," the coach said. "... We'll just start [Wednesday] and try to figure it out."

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