Knicks: David Fizdale could be mismanaging RJ Barrett, overplaying an issue?

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks suffered a blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, losing 113-92 on the backs of De’Aron Fox and Buddy Hield, combining for 46 points on the night. Once again, David Fizdale’s team fell behind early and failed to compete defensively.

The Knicks are now sitting at 1-6 on the season, well below their expectations. However, struggles were anticipated considering the injection of veterans into the starting lineup. Their lack of chemistry has been on display this season, so far, and Fizdale hasn’t done much to motivate his team.

Changing around the point guard position and overplaying rookie, RJ Barrett, seems to be the priority for Fizdale, who’s in his second year as head coach for the Knicks. He shot back at reporters on Sunday after he was questioned on playing Barrett in garbage time.



“We got to get off this load-management crap,’’ Fizdale said. “Latrell Sprewell averaged 42 minutes for a season. This kid is 19. Drop it already.’’

Barrett is averaging 37 minutes per game, allowing him to develop quickly and gain momentum. However, an argument can be made that the rookie could be playing too much, which could make him susceptible to injury or fatigue. RJ reassured reporters that he’s only 19, and if he couldn’t handle a full workload, he would tell coach Fizdale.

What is New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale trying to do with RJ Barrett?

Fizdale’s goal is to increase Barrett’s stamina, which would allow him to play deep into games without worrying about severe fatigue. While this method can have consequences, I don’t see a problem in the ideology that Fizdale is promoting. The veterans have been interchangeable thus far, averaging about 25 minutes per game, nowhere close to Barrett’s 37.

The rookie has started the year with a bang, earning a .441 field goal percentage and .391 percentage from downtown. He also averages 3.3 assists per game, which is a statistic Fizdale has utilized, having Barrett slot in at the point guard position.

I don’t expect the Knicks coach to temper Barrett’s workload in the upcoming games, and at this point in his career, that’s not a bad thing.