Knicks head coach David Fizdale's lineup experiment continues on Friday night when his starting five will feature all three rookies for the first time this season.
First-rounder Kevin Knox got his first career start against the Thunder in Wednesday's 128-103 blowout, and second-rounder Mitchell Robinson has been cemented at center for some time now.
It will be undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier making his first career start, as he has impressed early on this season. The three rookies will work alongside Emmanuel Mudiay and Tim Hardaway Jr. at tip off.
Fizdale noted his rookies have shown him they can play with success at the NBA level. And instead of having them each work with veterans in different shifts, why not start them all at the same time?
"All of these guys to their credit have really shown some great moments in the NBA," Fizdale told Newsday's Steve Popper. "So I figured why not look at them all together out there with Timmy and with our best passer and see how that looks if they're moving up and down the court fast."
Trier has been the biggest shock among NBA rookies this season, as he currently sits eighth in rookie scoring with 11.3 points per game off the bench. Fizdale has allowed him to go out on the floor, and play his isolation game that works to his advantage.
The Arizona product knows it was hard work that got him to the position he is today in New York, and that work ethic will continue every night moving forward.
"I'm so naive to the situation," Trier said. "I'm just going to go out there and play hard and compete at a high level like I try to do every single night. My job is to go out here and play good basketball, try to help make winning plays for this team. That's what I'm going to do whether I'm starting or coming off the bench. That doesn't change my mindset or approach to the game."
It is too early to tell what starting will do for both Trier and Knox, but Robinson has seen the benefits of getting the nod from his head coach. Fizdale is rewarding his youngsters hard work, and it hasn't flew over Robinson's head.
"It kind of means a lot," Robinson said. "When you get in there and put in hard work and you come out at the end, you get to start, that's actually great. We've got a lot of vets on the team and for us to be rookies and just come in and start it makes it kind of amazing."
But, when all it said and done, Fizdale also wants to stop losing by double-digits. The Knicks have lost badly in their last three games, which is why he is open-minded with seeing what works.
"I didn't have a preset mindset coming in where I saying, 'I'm expecting this to happen,'" Fizdale explained. "I just wanted to keep an open mind to everything and see how it plays out."
We'll see how this new group plays out tonight in New Orleans at 8 p.m.