New York Knicks: Predicting the perfect playoff rotation

NY Knicks, Derrick Rose. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Derrick Rose. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
New York Knicks
Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks.(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks: Ideal playoff starters

PG – Derrick Rose

SG – RJ Barrett

SF – Reggie Bullock

PF – Julius Randle

C – Nerlens Noel

Randle, Barrett, Bullock, and Noel have all been steady presences at their respective positions throughout the year. Barring injury, they’re going to remain starters for the foreseeable future. However, there is another choice that needs to be made.

In a move that seems like it’s been building for weeks now, there’s a good chance that Thibodeau names Derrick Rose as the starting point guard for the playoffs. Current starting point guard Elfrid Payton has seen his playing time dip drastically over the past month, with all of those extra minutes going to the former league MVP.

Over the team’s last 13 appearances, Rose is averaging 30.6 minutes while Payton is averaging just 16.5 minutes per game. In fact, Payton’s 16.5 is the lowest mark of any Knicks rotation player over that timespan outside of rookie Obi Toppin.

Rose is averaging 19.9 points and 5.1 assists on 57.4% shooting over that same 13-game span meanwhile Payton is putting up just 5.4 points and 2.5 assists on 36.5% shooting.

Thibodeau hasn’t publicly stated that he plans on starting Rose, but the large minute reduction for Payton and his unwillingness to discuss the situation might be a sign that he’s tipping his hand.

Rose’s return to New York and subsequent stellar play has been one of the largest surprises in a season filled with them, and he has been a major factor in the team’s second-half surge. It would be wise to roll with him in the playoffs as the primary option at point guard, allowing him to truly shine.