<
>

Opening Tip: Should Woodson start Pablo?

The Knicks still have 42 games to go, so it seems way too early to call any game a “must-win” at this point.

But, as mid-January games go, Monday’s matchup against Brooklyn feels pretty important.

Why?

Because Mike Woodson and the Knicks hope to turn things around over the next six games, starting with Monday's matinee against the Nets.

The Knicks' next six games are at home against teams that are at least six games under .500.

So they feel they can start to climb out of the 15-25 hole they've put themselves in over the next two weeks.

“This is our time to make something happen,” Carmelo Anthony said.

Woodson has a pretty big decision to make before his team takes the court on Monday afternoon.

If Pablo Prigioni returns (as expected), Woodson can go with a small starting lineup, featuring Prigioni and Raymond Felton in the backcourt.

Or, he can continue to play the "big" lineup with Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler on the front line.

“We’ve had some success, as you recall last year, with playing [Prigioni] and Raymond [Felton] both and Melo back at the 4,” Woodson said Sunday. “I’m not opposed to going back small based on what other teams do.”

Statistics show that the Knicks were successful with their “small” lineup last season. Thus far, the Chandler-Bargnani-Anthony frontcourt hasn’t worked well.

So, if you’re Woodson, what lineup do you go with Monday?

Up now: Ohm Youngmisuk writes that things could get even uglier for the Knicks if they lose on Monday to the Nets.

Carmelo Anthony says now is the time for the Knicks to make a run.

Deron Williams should be in uniform for the Nets on Monday.

What’s next: The Knicks will take on the Nets in their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee at MSG.

Question: Should Mike Woodson start Pablo Prigioni and the smaller starting lineup against the Nets?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.