As the Knicks (1-1) head into their third preseason game tonight at Madison Square Garden there's plenty to discuss about the roster, playing time and keys to ultimate success as fans have had the chance to watch the team on the actual basketball court.
Sounds like the perfect time to check Twitter and field some questions.
Chris Paul. The Knicks are in the driver's seat here in my mind and the goal this year, besides making the playoffs, is to show Paul that Kristaps Porzingis could potentially be the best big man he's ever played pick and roll with. Also, knowing what we know about Brandon Jennings' love for New York, you'd have to think he'd want to be a part of this moving forward as well. Can they afford both? Too early to tell, but if the Derrick Rose experiment doesn't work out, the first call July 1 will be to CP3 for sure.
@ThomasCDee can Jennings passing and creativity be the catalyst that makes the knicks bench succeed ?- WAUTAWESTCASHMEN (@WorldWideWauta) October 9, 2016
No question, but also as part of the 1st unit as well. The key will be Jeff Hornacek's combinations with Jennings. As we've discussed here, he has to figure out how to maximize Rose and Jennings together, but in order to maximize Jennings' effectiveness he has to pair Jennings, Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony. I like the combination with Lance Thomas as well as Thomas has the ability to stretch to floor to the corners, which is critical in transition.
@ThomasCDee Are we finally looking at a tight rotation? If so who are the odd men out? And will Noah be capped at 20mpg so KP can play 5?- Ari Belasen (@DrBelasen) October 9, 2016
I think Hornacek will play 9-10 guys early. Who makes the final roster remains to be seen, but Hornacek has found minutes for Sasha Vujacic, who has the full support of Porzingis, in both a backup PG role as Derrick Rose goes through his civil suit in Los Angeles, and a shooting guard behind Courtney Lee. I think he would love to see Ron Baker fill that role. Baker was impressive the other night, but seems earmarked for Westchester. The two biggest back-end rotation question I have is who breaks through and gets the lion's share of rotation minutes between the trio of Marshall Plumlee, Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O'Quinn. Also, I think Mindaugas Kuzminskas should see some back up SG and SF minutes early in the season.
@ThomasCDee Horns sets. Should be a staple offensively when you can use combinations of KP Melo and Noah imo. Thoughts?- TeamTrade (@shwinnypoohNBA) October 10, 2016
I think you'll see them (more on Hornacek and HORNS above). HORNS are a cousin to UCLA high post offense, which is a cousin to the Triangle. Joakim Noah was an MVP candidate a few years ago and is more than comfortable in pinch/high post. Expect to see that with he and Melo on both elbows once Noah is cleared to play.
@ThomasCDee If Randle were to make the roster, who goes?- Jake Hyman (@JakeHymanNJNY) October 10, 2016
I love Randle, but if you're building out a roster of 15 you may have to sacrifice younger players like he and Ron Baker, and allow them to blossom in Westchester. You don't need a third PG, assuming Derrick Rose is on the roster. I think Ndour has secured a spot on the them and the coaching staff is raving about Plumlee, who doesn't need the same reps a PG needs to stay sharp. Plumlee would be a more valuable practice player and has a unique role on the roster. If Randle were to remain, I'd expect them to waive Lou Amundson, a Phil Jackson favorite. You also want to remain flexible, in case a free agent is available after being released by another team. Players like Randle may get better deals overseas as well, so that's important to keep in mind.