Knicks head coach David Fizdale deployed his experimental starting five full of youth for the second straight game on Sunday. And he defended exactly why is doing it, saying he isn't "hunting for wins."
The first appearance of the new starters came against the Warriors on Friday, when Enes Kanter, Lance Thomas, and Trey Burke were benched in favor of Damyean Dotson, Noah Vonleh, and second-rounder Mitchell Robinson.
Fizdale wants to give this new group some time to see how things shake out, no matter if the Knicks are winning or not.
"It's not about that right now," Fizdale told The Post's Marc Berman. "It's about building consistency with these groups. I don't want to be jumping from game to game trying to hunt for wins. I'm trying to find consistency in combinations right now."
How long Fizdale will allow this group to try and get into a rhythm is unknown, but his patience is certainly there.
"It takes a few games here and there to see a body of work to tell you something," Fizdale said. "I don't want to jump around and start game to game, moving the lineup to match up for a game. When we get further in the season maybe I will. Now I want to see if I can build some chemistry and see what clicks with the team."
The most surprising move was sitting Kanter for Robinson, and the Turkish big man clearly isn't happy he has sat to start the past two games. He has done well when asked questions about those feelings, giving the generic answer saying he "has to lead the second unit."
However, Kanter is one of the highest-paid Knicks this season after opting in to his deal worth about $18.6 million this season. He is currently averaging 15.3 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
Kanter may have to get used to the bench for a little while, as Fizdale evaluates if this concoction of youngsters is the right group to start moving forward. In their defense, the starting five made it interesting against the Warriors as they were once leading in the fourth quarter before Kevin Durant went on a surge.
But, as Fizdale pointed out, this lineup isn't set in stone.
"It really got us to a good start against the [Warriors on Friday] -- both halves," Fizdale said of his new starters. "They took the challenge defensively. We'll see how this goes for a little bit. See if it can be a trend for us. Nothing is necessarily set in stone."