Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, and Samuel Dalembert are assumed starters, if only by default. Based on his positive play this preseason (and incumbent starting two-guard), one could make a strong case for Iman Shumpert to slip into the starting lineup as well.
The one position that's still left wide open is power forward. Perhaps rightfully so, because as much talent as there is at the position, there's probably just as many question marks surrounding it as well.
The likes of Amar'e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, Jason Smith, and Quincy Acy all figure to be candidates. While Stoudemire and/or Bargnani may have (at one point) had more to offer than the latter two, the pair has failed to remain healthy in recent seasons. Bargnani has already missed a good portion of the preseason, and Stoudemire has looked slow out of the gate as he, like many of his teammates, attempts to adjust to the triangle offense.
This has allowed Acy to get the start in three of the Knicks' first four preseason games. Looking at preseason numbers can be inconclusive, simply because players who would normally put up such numbers aren't playing normal minutes. Having said that, it still may be worth noting that Acy is thus far leading the team in steals per game (1.2) and is second in rebounds (5.0) behind Dalembert (5.8).
Having brought a reputation for being a junkyard dog of sorts, Acy has shown a refreshing new awareness on the offensive end. So far, he's proving he's not a liability there; he's aimed to create good spacing and has knocked down the occasional mid-range jumper, shooting 45 percent from the floor.
Despite Acy's steady contributions, the one player who may have the edge to start is Jason Smith. The big man has arguably taken to the triangle better than any of his teammates, showing an early aptitude for the offense.
In fact, he's been thriving. While Acy has had to make an extra effort offensively, all this appears to come rather naturally for Smith. He is consistently aware of where to position himself, creates excellent spacing, sets perfectly timely screens, and has the "catch and shoot" rhythm down pat. His own offensive prowess keeps opposing defenses honest constantly.
Averaging 10 points (on 50 percent shooting) and 4.5 rebounds, there's no doubt Smith is talented. Though he missed the first two preseason games due to the birth of his daughter, he's proving to have an early knack for this offense.
The question becomes if he can stay healthy. Having failed to appear in more than 51 games each of the last three seasons, Smith, like Stoudemire and Bargnani, has battled through his fair share of injuries.
While Smith may be the favorite to start on day one, the Knicks may have to utilize a starter-by-committee method as the season progresses.