David Fizdale
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are going with a big lineup in Monday’s preseason opener against the Washington Wizards.

New York Knicks fans can rejoice. The Washington Wizards will play host to the Knicks on Monday night as both teams open up their preseason schedule.

Head coach David Fizdale is going with a big, physical lineup to start things off. Elfrid Payton and RJ Barrett will man the backcourt while Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson handle frontcourt duties.

“Well, that’s what he’s going to play more of this year,” Fizdale told reporters on Monday morning. “We’re going to take him back to what he was in the beginning of when he first came into the league.”


“We like the idea of having size at that position with him and Kevin [Knox]. We’ll obviously play him and Kevin together sometimes as well, but he’s got a lot in that skillset that allows him to play multiple positions.”

The starting small forward job is one of the most interesting position battles in Knicks camp. Knox started the majority of games for Fizdale at small forward last season, but Morris brings toughness and experience to the position.

Payton is another noticeable addition to the starting lineup. Dennis Smith Jr. will miss Monday’s game with a lower back strain. The third-year guard told SNY’s Ian Begley that the injury is “nothing major.”

The Knicks plan to use a much more aggressive defensive scheme this season. The long and physical starting lineup signals Fizdale’s willingness to buck the NBA’s current trend of going small.

 

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