New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale is going to have his hands full juggling his rotations this season.
The competition for playing time will be a central storyline for the New York Knicks all season. Although it’s only the preseason, there is already discontent in the locker room with how the rotation is playing out, according to Ian Begley of SNY.
“No matter who he plays on a given night, there will be several players left out of the rotation who came into the season expecting to play,” Begley wrote. “So it shouldn’t be a surprise that, per SNY sources, there has already been some grumbling about minutes/roles.”
This is going to be a touchy situation for head coach David Fizdale to deal with this season. The Knicks are a deeper team in year two for Fizdale, no doubt. But that means there are going to be some unhappy campers riding the bench at times.
The Knicks dealt with similar issues last season and it took hold of the locker room for a significant portion of the season. Enes Kanter was very vocal about his frustration with his changing role on the team and the outspoken center was eventually bought out.
With so many veterans on one-plus-one deals, the potential for another Kanter-type situation is undeniable. Fizdale constantly emphasizes a “keep what you kill” mentality, but at a certain point, the Knicks may need to prioritize the development of the youngsters.
As the competition for playing time wages on, keep an eye on the ongoing point guard battle. Although all three have struggled offensively this preseason, Frank Ntilikina has been the best defender by far. The French guard will likely sit out Friday’s game so the coaching staff can see more of Elfrid Payton and Dennis Smith Jr.
It stands to reason that there will be one point guard on the outside looking in come Oct. 23 in San Antonio. That’s just one of the many battles for playing time. Fizdale has the difficult assignment of trying to keep everyone engaged and on board with the long-term vision.