With Jose Calderon questionable for Thursday's game in Toronto, the Knicks will have to be prepared to lean on young guns Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant to lead the way should the vet in fact sit out.
Regardless of who gets the staring nod, each one will figure to carry ample responsibility throughout. With that in mind, this will merely be another opportunity for Grant to continue proving his worth.
For a rookie still coming into his own, he's done relatively well so far. Luckily for New York, at 23 years old, Grant is arguably more mature than most first-year players. Still, he's had his struggles. The guard doesn't always make the best decisions, sometimes lacks a killer instinct and will dribble the ball too much. Such questions in his own mind may very well be a result of the sporadic minutes he's received thus far. Grant hasn't always been given consistent playing time in Derek Fisher's rotation. But he should be.
The fact of the matter is that Calderon's veteran know-how isn't enough to carry the Knicks throughout the majority of a contest. Instead, things fall stagnant on the offensive end and the team often needs to push the pace a bit more. Grant has shown repeatedly that he's capable of providing that injection of life into the lineup when necessary.
When the confidence is there and Grant is in attack mode, the Knicks often benefit. He needs to be encouraged, both verbally and in the form of more time on the court. The proof is in the pudding. During games in which he's played 18 minutes or more, Grant is averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 assists. Perhaps more importantly, New York owns a 10-9 record through those contests. For a team struggling to maintain a .500 winning percentage, that says something.
One of the Knicks' obvious goals moving forward is to upgrade the point guard position. Until they do that, it'll be up to Fisher and Co. to find the right balance between their floor generals. Thursday's matchup with the Raptors should stand as an opportunity for Grant to tip the scales in his favor a bit more. Galloway has been utilized more as an off-the-ball guard in smaller lineups this season, so the chance for Grant he prove he's worthy and capable of running the offense and commanding respect is now.