The NY Knicks have arguably one of the best second units in the league as well as one of the deepest rosters overall.
Going into the 2021-22 season, the “Next Man Up” mentality will be a crucial weapon for Coach Tom Thibodeau moving forward.
For a team that was hindered by some key injuries throughout all of last season, having such a potent roster will help the Knicks win games night after night.
We watched as replacement players willed the Knicks to look at least competent during the playoff series against the Hawks such as Nerlens Noel, Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson all playing pretty big roles in the postseason.
Derrick Rose was easily the best player on the entire team over those 5 games even though he was technically coming off the bench.
The Knicks’ front office had a focus in mind going into the summer and that was to create stability and continuity for the team.
This is why they paid a premium to keep their entire second unit together. Their collective performance last year was magical, to say the least.
Is Derrick Rose the most important weapon on the NY Knicks?
So this all begs the question; Who’s the most important player on the Knicks’ bench this season?
I recently wrote an article discussing who the most important player on the team is and I came up with RJ Barrett for a number of reasons which you could read by clicking this link here.
So then I came across the clip above from KnicksFanTV and I figured I’d chime in a bit.
Both ‘CP’ and Alan Hahn came to the conclusion that Knicks’ second-year stud, Immanuel Quickley, would be the most important player off the bench going into the new season.
And to some extent, I can agree.
Quickley is going to play a huge role in whether or not the Knicks can replicate and even achieve more than they were able to last year.
They’ll be looking to him for elite scoring off the bench even more than last year as well as maybe some offensive creation considering he was used as the primary ball-handler during Summer League.
But when it comes to who’s the most important player to me, it’s gotta be Derrick Rose.
Both he and Kemba Walker are the exact types of Point Guards that Thibs likes to run his offense, so when one comes off the court, the other should be able to pick up where the other left off.
Absolutely no lag time for the opposing defense.
But more so than that, Derrick Rose is is both the glue of the second unit as well as the offensive catalyst.
The bench’s success is determined by whether or not Rose makes things happen or not.
Rose took the two young guns in Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley under his wing immediately after the trade from Detroit, so that’s 40% of the Knicks’ bench that will be relying heavily on Rose and looking to him when times get tough.
Being that Rose is an extension of Thibs on the court, it comes as no surprise to anyone how well the offense clicked last year and that had almost everything to do with Derrick Rose.
As crucial as IQ was in many games last year, if the Knicks were forced to lose him for any amount of games, I think the second unit would operate just as well if someone like Quentin Grimes or Miles McBride were to take his spot temporarily.
Whereas, if Rose were to miss any games, those same replacements wouldn’t operate at nearly as high a capacity in my opinion.
The primary ball-handler off the bench would likely become Alec Burks with the secondary ballhandling duties likely going to Quickley.
I’m all for IQ one day becoming the Knicks’ starting PG in the future but he’s just not ready for that in just his second season.
Therefore, Derrick Rose IS the most important weapon off the Knicks’ bench.