New York Knicks: 6 players who have smaller or lost roles from last season

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Not just one player has watched his role wane from previous seasons, whether with the New York Knicks or another team.

The New York Knicks’ rotation frequently changes. Minutes swing for players in the starting lineup and on the bench, creating a sense of the unknown for who will accumulate the most minutes by the game.

For some players, their respective roles have decreased since the 2018-19 season, whether they played for the Knicks or somewhere else. This may stick or continue to change, but not just one figure from last season’s roster has found a smaller spot in coach David Fizdale’s rotation, including previously promising players.

Who has this impacted through 2019-20’s first 15 games? Let’s take a look:

Taj Gibson

Before signing with the New York Knicks, most of Taj Gibson‘s roles had fluctuated between starting and the bench. He started 384 of 737 career games in nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves.

This time around, at age 34, he has received the smallest role of his NBA run, minutes-wise, yet. His on-court time average through 13 games is 15.9, by far a career-low from his previous 20.4 in the 2011-12 season.

This low mark stems from the season’s first five games when Gibson averaged just 9.9 minutes. After a two-game spell, he took 21 minutes off the bench and coach David Fizdale subsequently moved him into the starting lineup, averaging 19.5 minutes in seven appearances since for 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds.

So the overall minutes load seems low, but it has increased over the past two weeks, potentially returning to Gibson’s old minutes-per-game averages from his early days with the Bulls.

However, it is still a far cry from 2018-19 in Minnesota. Gibson averaged 24.1 minutes in 57 starts and 70 total appearances, finishing with 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds at season’s end. Due to Mitchell Robinson‘s presence and a full frontcourt, these numbers will likely never return.