Even with the Knicks out of contention and the season winding down, interim coach Kurt Rambis said he has no plans to adjust the starting lineup (Mar. 28).
Specifcally, Rambis said he sees no reason to give Jerian Grant any starts.
The 30-44 Knicks have eight games remaining this season.
Kurt Rambis has said repeatedly that he would like the Knicks finish on a strong note this season, regardless of what's at stake. The playoffs are officially no longer within reach, so perhaps finishing on a good note and gaining some momentum at this point should be geared around embracing the (younger) players who figure to be more of a part of the team's future.
Apparently, New York's interim head coach doesn't agree with such a notion.
The likes of Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic should not be starting for any NBA team, much less one that is still trying to build a foundation for the future and is no longer competing for anything.
As far as the point guard position goes, Jerian Grant deserves more playing time at this point. For nearly two full seasons, the Knicks have given Calderon the benefit of the doubt. His stay of execution has been long enough. It's clear that a determination can be made: he's no longer starting point guard material. During much of the last two campaigns, Calderon has served as a starter because the team wasn't met with any other (or simply, better) options to turn to.
With nothing to lose (but so much more to gain), it's time to see if anything Grant gives them the rest of the way is enough to suggest he should garner even more consideration to take over next season. Perhaps there's enough potential there for the team to trust Grant next season. If there isn't, playing him now would help them gauge what kind of player they need to target while Grant continues to narrow his own respective gap. But without playing him more, they'll never know.
After ignoring Langston Galloway's development for much of this season, New York should also concern themselves with exploring the player he can be (or better yet, was more on the track of becoming toward the end of last season). His versatility as a combo-guard should really be utilized at both positions.
Shifting to Vujacic at shooting guard and continuing to reward him with unwarranted minutes may upset the previously efficient Arron Afflalo, who holds a very reasonable player option for next season. One would think the Knicks would want to appease him and keep him as content as possible heading into decision-making time. Bringing him off the bench in favor of a washed up, incapable older veteran probably pushes him further away.
In any event, it's time for the Knicks to embrace potential change. After all, what they've been doing lately hasn't worked.