Practice report: Woodson alters rotations

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- On Friday night against the Raptors, Mike Woodson decided to make a change in his substitution pattern. Instead of playing Tyson Chandler the entire first quarter, he rested the center toward the end of the period, so he could be ready to go at the start of the second.

Why? For defensive purposes.

"I hadn't done that in a long time," Woodson said Sunday. "I thought it helped us in that second quarter having Tyson in there to give us a defensive boost. We held them to 16 points in that quarter. The way we had been going is trying to score -- put offense in -- and that hadn't been working. So I made the change, and I thought that was a plus."

Woodson didn't repeat the strategy in the fourth quarter because Chandler was in foul trouble, but he'll look to implement the game plan looking ahead.

"When you look at our plus-minuses, it was a plus for us," the coach said, referring to Friday night, "so I think I'm going to try to see how I can work that a little bit and see what happens."

SAME LINEUP: Against the 76ers, Woodson will continue to go with Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Chandler.

The coach especially likes the smaller lineup because of the strong possibility that Thaddeus Young will play. Philly's star forward has missed the past three weeks with a strained left hamstring.

"I think Thaddeus will be back in the lineup, probably," Woodson said, "and if that's the case, it will be a better matchup for Melo that way, and then they've got the three perimeter guys they play."

KENYON? Woodson said that Kenyon Martin might not make his season debut tonight, but said "he's moving up and down the floor fairly well." When the power forward does play, the coach likes his "high energy" and defensive versatility guarding pick and rolls.

"I think he can help us in that regard," Woodson said. "He did a lot of that when he was with the Nets; he did a lot of that last year with the Clippers. They switched a lot as well."

Martin signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks on Saturday.

MORE MINUTES FOR AMAR'E? Woodson dismissed that on Sunday.

"He's still at that 30-minute mark," he said. "I'm just trying to cap it as much as I can in case we've got to have him down the stretch. I'm not trying to burn him early. It's tough from a coaching standpoint, but from a medical standpoint, we've got to protect Amar'e, too, for the long haul."

Stoudemire made is season debut Jan. 1 after recovering from knee surgery.

THE HOLIDAY IS OVER: That's what the Knicks would like to hope for tonight. In three games against the Knicks this season, Sixers All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday is averaging 26.3 points on 56.4 percent shooting and 56.3 percent from 3-point range. He's also averaging 7.0 assists.

In their last matchup on Jan. 26, a 97-80 Knicks loss, Holiday scored a season-high 35 points -- 19 in the first half.

"He's playing well," Woodson said. "I mean, he's kind of found his niche in our league, and he's become a damn good point guard."

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