The traditional pattern in the NBA is as teams fade from playoff contention they increase the playing time for their younger players to get them experience.
In New York, Kurt Rambis is keeping his starting backcourt of Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic going while the rookie Jerian Grant and the just better Arron Afflalo come off the bench. Rambis said he would play Grant more, but also has benched him for a half when he struggled.
Now Carmelo Anthony has gone to Rambis and said it’s time to play the youth, reports Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
Carmelo Anthony told reporters that he approached other veterans and then Kurt Rambis about giving more minutes to younger players for the rest of the season to develop guys like rookie Jerian Grant. “Those guys need to play, especially right now,” Anthony said according to reports. “… You can practice and do drills and one-on-one things all day long but you only get that experience by playing in an actual game. I think it’s good for them, it’s good for the morale of the team, it’s good for their confidence. Because sometimes in a situation like this, you can lose your confidence. And that’s something we don’t want.”
Give that man a gold star. Or an oversized max contract.
Experience is the best teacher. It can’t be that alone, but with the right coaching to aid it experience helps guys learn quickly. We can see that in the development of teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have played through the mistakes of their young core and have gotten better this season. Same in Detroit. Same in Utah. Same in a lot of places.
The Knicks, as an organization, need to learn how to develop talent. It’s not something they had to do in the past when they could just buy who they wanted (although they haven’t purchased wisely). In today’s NBA, player development is key and it’s why San Antonio is San Antonio. And right now why the Knicks are the Knicks.