New York Knicks: Go Burks or Go Home

Alec Burks, New York Knicks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alec Burks, New York Knicks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Knicks needs another change at point guard if they want to keep their season alive.

Fact: Derrick Rose has been spectacular for the New York Knicks.

Also facts: since being inserted into the starting lineup, Rose is a team-worst -38, and the Knicks have been blown out twice.

Groundbreaking analysis: Rose in the starting lineup isn’t working.

Throughout the regular season, Tom Thibodeau was reluctant to bench Elfrid Payton because, despite his inconsistent (and mostly poor) individual play, the team was winning. That’s why it took 73.5 games. But down 13 at halftime with the prospect of falling into an 0-2 hole looming, Thibs finally made the move, elevating Rose out of the break. It sparked a huge third quarter on both ends, and the Knicks were able to tie the series in euphoric fashion.

Rose has been the starter since, with Payton collecting back-to-back DNPs. On the plus side, individual play at the position is much improved (an understatement, really); on the negative, the team looks worse than it has all year.

Is it a chemistry issue? Not likely – the current starting lineup played 106 regular season minutes together and posted a +14.6 per 100 possessions. That’s pretty good.

Is it fatigue, guys bearing the burden of extra playing time (having lost yet another player from the rotation) after a long season of heavy minutes?

Have the Hawks simply hit a new level, on both ends, that the Knicks simply can’t compete with?

It requires a much brighter mind than mine to explain exactly how/why such an obvious, common-sense move has turned out so disastrously. All I know is that Thibs doesn’t have another 70 games to consider adjustments. In fact, he doesn’t have another minute. He needs to make one now.

My suggestion? Move Derrick back to the bench, elevate Alec Burks to the starting five.