The New York Knicks' Friday night victory over Orlando was a triumph for those who want to see more of rookie Jerian Grant. The point guard received 16 minutes of playing time -- a rarity in the nascent Kurt Rambis Era -- and acquitted himself well: 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. It seemed like it could be a turning point.
It probably wasn't. Grant did get 10 minutes of playing time in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Heat, but was stapled to the bench for all but a minute of the second half while Sasha Vujacic got to do his thing.
Rambis gave some insight into his decision-making process Friday night -- after Grant actually played well -- and it's becoming increasingly clear that his veteran guards -- his shitty, God-awful veteran guards -- will continue to take precedence:
His playing time may tell you otherwise, but the Knicks like Jerian Grant. Here's Kurt Rambis' assessment of Grant: pic.twitter.com/H5P9AlCSXm— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 27, 2016
Sure, it doesn't have to be hard for Grant to break into that rotation, but the coach is making it hard. And that is why we should pay close attention to another set of Rambis quotes from last weekend:
Rambis prefers to have Grant with team to practice and watch film, but seemed open to idea of Grant getting run with Westchester.— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) February 26, 2016
Rambis says #Knicks are still very high on Grant but wants him to learn while watching. Suggested D-League stint may be good for him.— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) February 26, 2016
Should the Knicks send Grant to the D-League for consistent minutes or should he stay with the big club, watching NBA players while hoping for the occasional, seemingly arbitrary playing stint? I don't even know anymore. Grant should be playing every night for the simple reason that he is a first-round pick at a position of incredible need and the team is out of the playoff race. But we need to stop worrying about what should happen (Grant should play) and what probably will happen (Rambis will keep on being weird).
Westchester coach Mike Miller runs a pretty tight ship. The W-Knicks offense often looks crisper than their New York counterparts. Maybe Grant would benefit from getting 25-30 minutes a game, every game, for a few weeks. It seems unnecessary from an outsider's perspective (just freakin' play the kid already!) but the coach's stinginess with playing time might force the front office to think outside the box.