As the Knicks continue to figure out their point guard rotation this season, Mike Miller made his first adjustment to the starting lineup since taking over as head coach.
Elfrid Payton got the nod at the one spot for the Knicks Saturday night when they faced the Bucks at Madison Square Garden, a spot that for a majority of the season had gone to Frank Ntilikina.
Ironically enough, Payton had actually won the starting spot in training camp to start the season, but got injured just a few games in, leading to Ntilikina being inserted into the lineup thereafter.
In Saturday night's blowout loss to the Bucks, Payton put up just six points on 3-of-7 shooting in 27 minutes, but that wasn't the selling point of his night for Miller.
"Well we go back and kind of look and Elfrid had 10 assists and two turnovers," Miller said at the post game press conference. "And so the one thing we've seen him do consistently here as he's come back from his injury is he's helping other people, and you have to have that facilitator and that guy that does it, and he's taken that role and he's done a very good job with it."
"We'll have to take a look and see what is best for out group," Miller added when asked if Payton will start for the Knicks going forward. "We're going to look at this film and see where we felt like our strengths were and take a look at it, like we've always been doing. But he's been playing very consistently, he really has."
On the other end, Ntilikina saw his playing time shrink to just 10 minutes--less than the two other PG options off the bench in Dennis Smith Jr. (11 minutes) and Alonzo Trier (12 minutes). Ntilikina scored just four points on 2-of-5 shooting and added three boards and two assists.
"We've continued when we've needed it and the games call for it, we've used all the guards," Miller said. "We needed somebody downhill, so we gave Dennis a shot in there too, and he was able to get downhill and break through it and keep working the game as we were trying to make our way back."
Although he may have played some valuable minutes in Miller's eyes (five rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block), Smith Jr. continued to struggle with his shot as he has all season, making just one of his six attempts on the night for two points.
Trier also had a quiet night with five points and two assists, but Miller said the team continues to have confidence in him.
"We know what he can do," Miller said. "And we've gotten into some tough situations where we need some scoring and we've called his number. We've went to him and he comes in and does what he does and makes some plays."
"...There's not anybody right now that's not in the mix for getting more playing time and we'll continue to look at things as we go."