NY Knicks: How Derrick Rose’s injury affects the season-long outlook

The news surrounding the NY Knicks hasn’t been the very cheerful as of late and it got a whole lot worse this week.

The team announced that Derrick Rose underwent ankle surgery and will be out around 8 weeks.

Rose had missed a few games with a lingering issue but the severity was unknown and the surgery was unexpected. This comes as a crushing blow for New York, who may start to be reevaluating where they rank across the NBA.

NY Knicks: Derrick Rose is irreplaceable

Breaking down the Knicks roster has gotten a lot harder this season given everyone’s struggles. That’s right: everyone.

There have been so many “dry spells”, “shooting slumps” from just about every single player on this roster that the blame has been ping ponged around at a relentless pace.

Derrick Rose, as always, has seemed to be constant source of stablity when he’s on the court. 

Once again, Rose is putting together a remarkably efficient season scoring the basketball. In 24 minutes per game, Rose is putting up 12 points on 44.5% from the field, 40.2% from three, and 96% from the free throw line to go with 4 assists per game.

Of course, his per game numbers aren’t going to pop like others, but people who watch NY Knicks games understand how Derrick Rose is really the team’s 2nd best player.

You don’t really need any more evidence besides last year’s playoffs, where Rose was easily their best player. His experience and comfort with the ball in his hands is unmatched by any other player on the roster.

The word “leadership” gets tossed around a lot in sports, and while Rose’s presence off the court is certainly an asset, this is really about the leadership on the court. No one on the Knicks can handle double teams, run the offense, and easily slice through a defender picking them up full court like Derrick Rose. No one can step up and create instant offense like Derrick Rose.

The Knicks have players who can create their own shot, but with much less poise and consistency.

There is still a lot to shake out with the roster because of all the players who have been out in COVID health and safety protocols.

You’d expect Walker to be back in the rotation with some increased minutes for guards like Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks.

I know some fans may see this as a door opening for rookies like Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes but it’s just hard to see that happening. At least to a point where they’re playing anything more than 15 minutes.

Maybe that shouldn’t be the case though, because this Knicks team isn’t as far along as we thought.

We can stop pretending they’re in that “2nd tier” of the East with the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls.

This is a team of young players and vets who have now lost the player that bails them out where in trouble.

As much as we want to win, no one wants Derrick Rose’s injury to lead to 36 Alec Burks minutes per game.

By the time Rose comes back, it’s going  to possibly be 3/4 of the way through the year.

There are going to be some rough times ahead but there could be some great moments as well. As long as New York keeps investing in their player development and they Obi Toppin, Miles McBride, Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley more involved in games, more involved in clutch situations, and more involved in being key pieces of the team, it can still feel like there is a lot of hope for the future.

This season can still be fun, let’s just make sure it’s not veterans playing 40+ minutes in losses every other night.