With a record of 19-43, the New York Knicks have yet again clinched another losing season for the seventh consecutive time. With twenty games left remaining in the season, what makes the most sense is to shut down the veterans by giving them less to no minutes whatsoever, and giving it to the young players to further their development.
Players such as Barrett, Robinson, Knox, Dotson, Ntilikina, Smith Jr, and Trier should be taking lead for these final twenty games. Even calling up the 2019 second round draft pick and G-League standout Iggy Brazdeikis would be fitting to see, as Iggy has only stepped on the floor for the main club nine times early in the regular season, mostly under the fired head coach, David Fizdale. RJ Barrett has been flourishing these past couple of games. With his ability to get to the rim, and his improved shooting stroke, Barrett has been playing his best basketball.
But as I said, this is what "should" happen, but most likely will not happen. Interim head coach Mike Miller is trying the best he can to win as many games out of the twenty games left to build his resume in this league. In Miller's defense, he has done a solid job since taking over back in December, and has clearly showcased that he is a better head coach than David Fizdale was for the team, and has shown consistent professionalism throughout what has been yet another fiasco of a season (Fizdale firing, Mills firing, Stoute interview, Spike vs Dolan). But its not surprising the vets are getting playing time over the youth due to the fact Miller believes he has a shot at winning each game with the vets.
The 2020 offseason is soon approaching. If the New York Knicks want to take a step in the right direction moving forward, than this offseason must hold major emphasis for the development of the young players. There is no more time for waiting, results must be shown for next season. Results doesn't necessarily have to mean making the playoffs, which will realistically not happen. Results would simply be seeing the young players take a next step in their development, which is what should be the main priority.
Barrett, who hasn't really been the talk of the rookie class this season due to Zion-Mania and Ja Morant's play in Memphis, hasn't gotten much recognition, but has still had a good rookie year with averages of 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assist per game. Barrett is not afraid of the moment, and with his skills and mindset, next season should be an improvement for Barrett. Im sure Barrett will put in the time this summer continuing to improve the jumper, free throws, and using his right hand more.
Robinson needs to continue to work on staying in the game and not getting fouls too quickly, which can mess up the momentum of games. It is unknown if Robinson will ever utilize a jumper, but for now Robinson should continue to improve on what he does best, which is getting to the rim. A post-up game wouldn't be bad for Robinson to add as well, as defenses know Mitch is a lob threat.
When it comes to players such as Knox, Ntilikina, and Smith Jr, the main thing is confidence. If those three can build their confidence up, that would be great to see. Knox and Ntilikina already have the size at their positions, which is an advantage, but now its taking that size and putting it all together. We know defense is Ntilikina's calling card, but if he improves his three point percentage, he can be a valuable 3 and D player in this league. Knox needs to continue his development, and get out of his head, same pretty much goes for Smith Jr.
Assuming Dotson and Trier will be back next season, its clear who Dot and Iso-Zo are in this league. Dotson is a 3 and D player, who has the ability to get to the rim, and Trier is simply a bucket-getter, plain and simple. Both can contribute to the Knicks.
The 2020 offseason will be one to watch, as it can dictate where the Knicks will stand in the future.