New York Knicks rumors: David Fizdale could experiment with big lineups
Recent New York Knicks rumors involve a potential plan to open up the logjam at the power forward spot.
There have been some New York Knicks rumors already with training camp getting under way this week. Recently, there was some discussion about the point guard position.
It was made known that the point guard spot will have an open competition to start the season. Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton will be competing for the starting spot throughout training camp. That isn’t the only spot that minutes will be available at in David Fizdale’s rotation this upcoming season.
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Fizdale has some new pieces to deploy for the 2019-20 season. New York didn’t land a max player in free agency, instead, they spread the money out among a number of veterans. The roster is improved, but there are some logjams present in the frontcourt, namely at power forward.
The Knicks became a punchline this summer as they went on a spending spree for power forwards. Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Marcus Morris were all signed to deals this summer. The team also has Kevin Knox, the No. 9 overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, that is probably best suited to play power forward.
While the signings were questioned, those players aren’t pigeonholed into the power forward spot. Portis and Gibson should find some minutes behind Mitchell Robinson at the center spot. Randle is also capable of playing center, a position he actually performed well at with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Fizdale may have other ideas on how to find everyone minutes this upcoming season.
Fizdale recently discussed how he could unclog the log jam and he suggested that he could use bigger lineups. Namely, playing Knox and Morris some minutes at the small forward spot.
“When you start talking about Kevin Knox and Marcus Morris at the small forward, right there that makes you pretty big. You can see the pecking order down the line,” he said. “I can put a lot of different guys on the floor. I can play Bobby (Portis) and Mitchell (Robinson) together with Marcus Morris, that’s a really big lineup.
“And RJ Barrett is no small guy at the 2 or 3 either. Frank and Elfrid are big guards. Dennis may not be as big as them, but he can touch higher on the backboard than the rest of them. I really like the fact we have that size and length and now it’s just making sure that we use it appropriately.”
The infatuation with big lineups is nothing new for Fizdale. While preparing for his first season as the team’s head coach, he discussed big lineups that he was considering.
At the time, he talked about using a lineup with Kristaps Porzingis on the wing with Luke Kornet and Robinson in the frontcourt. Knox was someone that he was considering an option at shooting guard in this hypothetical lineup as well.
With how his rookie season went on both ends of the court, it is tough to imagine Fizdale giving Knox any minutes at the 2 spot.
The team has plenty of options there and Knox didn’t show enough as a playmaker or defender to warrant taking minutes away from RJ Barrett, veterans Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock, or the other youngsters in the backcourt such as Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson.
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Knox only saw 1 percent of his minutes at shooting guard last season, so it is fair to take what Fizdale said about using bigger lineups with a grain of salt. However, Porzingis didn’t play a minute with the Knicks last season, so that is a big reason for it not happening. This season, expect to see big lineups during games.
Fizdale is going to have a balance for the young guys and veterans. If that means using bigger lineups to find more minutes, he will have to do it. There is enough diversity in their games that this could work for stretches. However, things could get ugly defensively.
New York doesn’t have very many players that get it done defensively. Fizdale is going to have to get creative when covering up those holes if he does indeed go with bigger lineups.
This will assuredly be something to watch in the coming weeks. There are a lot of players that deserve minutes on the Knicks’ roster, but you cannot play 13 guys every night.