Though he's picked up the slack just a bit recently, Jose Calderon has been on the hook for much of the Knicks' struggles for months now. He's a mature and experienced veteran who knows how to orchestrate an offense, but there are still holes in his aging game. Calderon has great difficulty staying in front of quicker and younger opposing floor generals on defense. On the flip side, he's unable to help his team push the offense when the situation calls for it.
Thus, it's easy to place the blame on him when the offense falls stagnant. Calderon's contract runs through next season, somewhat limiting the Knicks' flexibility to seek out what they truly need in a floor general.
But while Calderon alone doesn't provide the Knicks with a complete package, perhaps those around him help shore up the existent holes. The veteran guard went scoreless with five assists in 30 minutes through Tuesday's win over the Celtics. Despite a quiet performance, he kept New York afloat during much of the contest. When the team needed a spark, Derek Fisher turned to Jerian Grant. The rookie delivered in a big way, finding teammates in transition and creating his own offense by attacking the basket and getting to the charity stripe.
Such assertiveness is not something Calderon displays, but perhaps that's alright. Coach Fisher should be praised for making the switch when he did. Calderon's veteran know-how is valuable, but the team was in need of a jolt. 16 points and eight assists later from Grant, and they surely received one. Of course, it's not time to jump on the 'Grant for starter' bandwagon just yet. The rookie has struggled himself this season, running the floor erratically at times and/or failing to make the smart play. He's still learning.
Each guard has their own strengths (as does Langston Galloway, whose defense has been a focus of improvement during his sophomore season). But it's up to Coach Fisher to create that necessary balance to ensure their respective weaknesses don't come glaring out in the process. The team shouldn't have to depend on or play any of the aforementioned floor generals for too long. It'd be much more beneficial to manage their minutes and figure out which one's strengths best fits respective scenarios. Such organization has been absent until recently.
As Coach Fisher's own decision making continues to mature, perhaps better point guard play will come for the Knicks. There have been too many times where Calderon has been a step too slow, and Grant's energized legs are wasting on the bench. On the flip side, the unexperienced rookie has been left on the floor for too long at times as the Knicks sink and Calderon's experience could be leaned upon. On Tuesday night, there was a seemingly perfect blend, and the New York left with a victory because of it.