Despite playing 17 of their first 27 games on the road, the New York Knicks have gotten off to a commendable 16-11 start to the season. Jalen Brunson has looked like an All-Star, while Julius Randle bounced back from a slow start to potentially make a trip to Indianapolis in February as well.
The Knicks currently own the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, although there's room for improvement. With Mitchell Robinson undergoing surgery for a severe ankle injury combined with free-agent acquisition Donte DiVincenzo getting off to a hot start in blue and orange, head coach Tom Thibodeau has already made a few changes to the team's rotation.
However, there's even more room to improve. The Knicks are currently on pace to win roughly 49 games which represents an increase over last season's record, although they could secure the organization's first campaign with at least 50 victories since 2013 with a few rotation tweaks. Here are three of them.
3 Rotation changes that Tom Thibodeau should make for the Knicks
3: Give Miles McBride consistent minutes
Miles "Deuce" McBride, the team's defensive specialist, has appeared in just 17 games this season while averaging a mere 4.8 minutes per contest. He's mainly operated in a situational role, checking into the game for a key defensive possession or two that typically occurs before the end of a quarter. He's also been used sparingly in garbage time.
The 23-year-old hasn't been able to crack a crowded guard rotation, although his hot shooting combined with his positional versatility should be enough to earn a few consistent minutes each night moving forward. On a small sample size, McBride is shooting 50% from the field and 41.2% from three.
Although the former second-round pick has shown the ability to play both backcourt spots due to his defensive acumen combined with his off-ball shooting, he's spent 99% of his minutes this season as a point guard. While the Knicks' shooting guard rotation is a bit cramped, it wouldn't hurt to put McBride on the floor for a few minutes each night to see if he can maintain his current efficient output.
Not only would increasing his role help the team's defense while prioritizing the development of one of New York's youngest players, but it could also raise his trade value if the Knicks eventually attempt to acquire a superstar using their wealth of draft picks.