New York Knicks: Derrick Rose was clueless about fourth quarter benching
Nov 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) and guard Brandon Jennings (3) react to a call after Rose is charged with a foul during the second half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Hornets win 107-102. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks‘ Derrick Rose was benched in the final minutes of Wednesday night’s win. Rose had no answer when asked for an explanation.

Wednesday night didn’t go as planned for New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose. He was excited to play New York against former coach Tom Thibodeau.

Maybe it was nerves, but whatever the reason Rose had one of his worst games as a Knick on Wednesday. The former MVP played 23:35 and had the same amount of assists as Kyle O’Quinn (2).

Rose was outplayed by Brandon Jennings, Rose’s backup this season in title only, and Jeff Hornacek took notice. Jennings and Rose were on the floor with 3:59 remaining in the fourth quarter and Justin Holiday was set to check in, presumably for Jennings.


The point guard duo had been on the court for Minnesota’s run that cut a 17-point lead down to four. It wasn’t surprising that Hornacek decided to go with a defensive replacement in crunch time.

Hornacek again proved he isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo when he benched Rose and went with Jennings.

According to Marc Berman of The New York Post when Rose was asked about the surprise benching, he deferred to the man in charge.

“That’s something you’ll have to ask [Hornacek],’’ Rose said of the benching. “I’m just doing whatever Coach asks me to do, go in whenever he tells me. As far as him keeping me out there or letting me be out there, that’s something you’ll probably have to ask him.’’

The move worked. The team ran smoother with Jennings the whole game and it showed as he finished with a +8. Rose finished with a -9.

Rose has played better with Holiday (his former teammate in Chicago) this season. The duo is a +2.1 in 296 possessions, while Jennings and Holiday are a -5.9 in 422 possessions (points per 100 possessions).

Don’t buy into one game as an indictment of Rose’s entire season. The Knicks are a better team with Rose on the floor. Per Basketball-Reference, the Knicks are a -4.0 points per 100 possessions with Rose off the court. They’re a -3.0 when he plays.

They just happen to be better when he when he is looking to pass more than score. Per Berman, the Knicks are 7-1 when Rose scores 15 or fewer points and 2-8 when he scores more than 15.

Per Berman, despite the numbers, Rose isn’t buying it.

“I don’t listen to that,’’ Rose said. “I can’t. I’m going to go and play the way I want to play and play how I know how to play. I can’t read into those statistics. That’s the new era these days. People reading into it. I don’t listen to that.’’

Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.

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