Knicks: 3 reasons they MUST diminish Elfrid Payton’s role

Elfrid Payton, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Elfrid Payton, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Elfrid Payton, Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks are treading in dangerous waters lately. The team hasn’t had a game to feel good about in quite some time. The last 3 games have been a brutal loss to an inferior Magic team, a win against the league-worst Timberwolves that they nearly blew, and an excruciatingly painful loss to the Golden State Warriors. All of these games share a common denominator — Unwatchable offense.

The Knicks’ woes on offense have popped up frequently throughout the season, and while the team’s strong defense can oftentimes be enough to mask it, it isn’t always enough. The Knicks are not going to be an elite offensive team this year, but there are certainly ways they can get better. Both the inadequate floor-spacing and lack of versatile skillsets on offense have plagued the team, and their starting point guard Elfrid Payton has been the crux of it.

I think there is a misconception among some Knicks fans and even the coaches that Payton deserves the playing time “Because of his defense” or that he’s a “Thibodeau style player”.  While Payton does bring a nice level of intensity to the game, there is no reality where Payton should be playing 30+ minutes a night on an NBA team.

I want to stress that Payton belongs in the league, and his contributions on defense are deserving of a small role. However, his current high usage rate and minutes per-game have been holding the team back, and I will explain how any positive narrative you can come up with for Elfrid Payton can be debunked.

Here are 3 reasons why Elfrid Payton’s role must be diminished for the betterment of the team.