The New York Knicks need some new blood in their rotation coming off three consecutive losses to Brooklyn, Chicago, and Denver. In their most recent defeat to the Nuggets over the weekend, they were utterly embarrassed at home in front of their fans.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau indicated that his squad lacked energy, which has been a frequent occurrence this season among a myriad of struggles. Ranging from porous defense to inefficient shooting, the Knicks are looking for a new identity after displaying aggression and intensity during a hopeful 2020â€“21 season.
Fast forward to present-day, and Thibodeau was just looking for answers with the team looking to get back in the win column against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. The Spurs are struggling considerably this year, but after laying an egg against Denver, who had lost seven of their previous eight games, thereâ€™s no guarantee the Knicks can beat anybody at this point.
Thibs indicated that he may change their scheme and rotation again after dropping Kemba Walker last week in favor of Alec Burks as the starting point guard.
Tom Thibodeau says the Knicks could change scheme and/or rotation again, based on the team's intensity and execution: pic.twitter.com/VmfmlJScEf
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 4, 2021
One lowkey change that Thibodeau can make is bringing up Luka Samanic, a former first-round pick by the San Antonio Spurs. Samanic played in 33 games last season, averaging just 3.7 points per game.
However, heâ€™s not even 22-years-old yet but has been lighting up the G-League with impressive numbers. Over six games, Samanic is averaging 32.8 minutes on the floor, posting 21.8 points on 44% shooting from the field and 30% shooting from deep. His 8.7 defensive rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.7 offensive rebounds stand out among his well-balanced stat sheet.
The Croatian international deserves an opportunity to help a struggling team find their identity. Samanic has the qualities to be a productive player but simply didnâ€™t earn the opportunity during his time in San Antonio.
Considering New York is preparing to take on his former team, the game represents a perfect chance for him to gain some revenge and showcase what he can do at the professional level. While six games in the G-League doesnâ€™t exactly provide much of a sample size, the Knicks simply need to shake up the rotation and provide some new blood. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miles McBride get the call, either.