Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — With the Knicks set to open the 2010-11 season Wednesday night in Toronto, head coach Mike D’Antoni named his starting lineup Tuesday.
And it’s a lineup that will feature two rookies.
Rookie shooting guard Landry Fields (pictured) and first-year center Timofey Mozgov will start alongside point guard Raymond Felton, small forward Danillo Gallinari and power forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
“And that’s if Tim can go,” D’Antoni said.
The 7-foot Russian suffered a bruised left hip and collapsed to the floor during practice Tuesday. He’s listed as questionable for Wednesday.
“Mozgov got kneed in the hip, bruised and we’ll just check it out,” D’Antoni said of the Russian, who averaged 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in the preseason.
He wasn’t the only player injured in practice Tuesday. Forward Anthony Randolph suffered a sprained ankle. X-rays were negative. He is listed as out for Wednesday and will be reevaluated Wednesday.
“Randolph just turned his ankle and we’ll check it out, see how it is,” D’Antoni said before the X-ray.
D’Antoni opted to start Fields, a second-round draft pick out of Stanford who averaged 8.6 points and shot 55 percent in the preseason, over Wilson Chandler, who will come off the bench.
“It’s a dream come true to play at this level, especially with the Knicks, so I’m real excited,” Fields said.
“I think it’s just my play, just the kind of player I am and the versatility I have,” he added. “High basketball IQ and the ability to rebound, I think that goes far with this team.”
“He doesn’t make mistakes,” D’Antoni said of Fields. “He plays with a high energy. He does a lot of the intangibles that we look for. He’s also a guy that will allow the ball to go to Amar’e a lot to start with, which we like to get those guys off.
“And then we need scoring from the bench, and Will can definitely do that. Will will be playing the same amount of minutes if he started or he didn’t. Also Toney [Douglas]. And those guys will anchor the bench for us.”
Chandler said he was OK with coming off the bench.
“Just bringing energy off the bench, versatility,” he said. “We don’t got too many people on the bench, so I’ll just come off the bench, just give us a boost.”
D’Antoni said this wouldn’t necessarily remain the starting lineup after the first game.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “That doesn’t mean the next game is like that but that’s how we’ll start [Wednesday] night.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.