12:47 PM, January 21, 2011 ι By MARC BERMAN
SAN ANTONIO -- Faced with a four-game losing streak, Mike D'Antoni is reverting to his old Knicks starting lineup, benching Wilson Chandler, putting Ronny Turiaf back in as the starting center, allowing Amar'e Stoudemire to move back to his starting-power-forward slot.
The moves comes two days after Stoudemire said he "hates'' being referred to as a center. Chandler also has looked worn down, on both ends, playing lazier defense than he has in the past. Chandler thrived as a sixth man in November and the club did well with that starting five for a section of their 13-1 spree.
The Knicks face the Spurs at the AT&T Center with San Antonio looking for revenge from its Garden loss earlier this month.
"We want to play a little bit bigger,'' D'Antoni said. "It was a good lineup for us. It changes things up a bit. Things haven't been going stellarly and the first-quarter defense hasn't been good. We'll see if this works.''
D'Antoni said he hopes to stick with this for a while. Stoudemire claimed he had no input on the decision. In Houston, Stoudemire said he is a forward and it's the most he's played center in his career. Stoudemire is starting to wear down, perhaps because of being overmatched physically at center on the defensive end.
D'Antoni could have pulled Danilo Gallinari from the lineup for Turiaf but the coach apparently was afraid to shake the Italian Stallion's confidence.
"A lot of reasons, a lot of discussions,'' D'Antoni said. "I don't want to play it out in the papers.
"Wilson has come off the bench. It hasn't affected him. You don't know if it will affect the other guys. Also Wilson comes in with a lot of firepower. And the biggest reason is it worked before and looked like everyone was OK with it.''
Stoudemire sported new black goggles at the morning shootaround. Stoudemire said Nike made him new ones because the old goggles were falling off twice a game. He said it's not a fashion statement. ... Though Stoudemire is a big Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, he will be pulling hard for the Jets on Sunday. He just did a commercial with Darrelle Revis and is friends with a few of the Jets players.