What can be expected from Knicks’ second unit in 2022-23?

Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, New York Knicks. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, New York Knicks. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks, Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports) /

More of the same, but with silver linings?

Lastly, as for the other bench players, expect a lot of the same in terms of role. Derrick Rose should continue to be tasked with chief ball handling and scoring duties when Brunson takes a seat, meaning Quickley will still be held back from having a more substantial impact, which is a darn shame.

As was the case with Noel and Gibson, Hartenstein will probably only see about 18-22 minutes a night behind Mitchell Robinson. Now that Robinson is getting paid the big bucks to anchor the paint, maybe we can expect him to be getting a lion’s share of the center minutes more so than he already did.

However, Hartenstein’s passing and shooting abilities are something the Knicks have really never had with their big men, and it is a skillset Thibodeau is familiar with utilizing having coached Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota and Joakim Noah in Chicago. Perhaps I-Hart has a surprisingly sizable responsibility on offense to keep the ball moving and space the floor, enough so that he may at some point come close to routinely splitting time at center if he proves effective.

All in all, the second unit for the Knicks in theory is once again going to be a strength for the team. You can debate in the NBA whether or not depth really matters when it comes to winning games and being one of the best teams, but it can’t be denied that it can be very helpful.

Just like they did the last couple of years with guys like Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Taj Gibson, and Derrick Rose, I expect the Knicks to lean on every member of their rotation in one way or another throughout the season. Even with the steadiness that Brunson brings, and regardless of your opinion on if Julius Randle and/or RJ Barrett can play at an All-Star level, this team is simply not as good as most teams in the league.

New York will need every player to show improvement and compete each game if they want to be a playoff team. The bench is no exception, and it seems like those reinforcements possess the talent necessary to achieve playoff status.