The NY Knicks lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, but the team got another strong game from Kristaps Porzingis and nearly came back to win against the Mavs. The Knicks could soon consider moving Jerian Grant into the starting lineup or at least give Grant more playing time alongside Jose Calderon, as that could help boost the offense for Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks have been off to a solid start this year compared to how they played last season, but there is still room for improvement. The Knicks have been getting strong play from Porzingis, who had 28 points in the game against the Mavericks and helped push the comeback for New York. The Mavericks won 104-97 on Monday, but Porzingis did all he could to try and get the win, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter, including two straight three-point shots to help cut the lead to 101-97.
Porzingis has been one of the best rookies in the league and he is leading the rookie of the year chase with Karl-Anthony Towns. Another Knicks rookie could see some increased playing time, as Jerian Grant has been slowly coming out of his slump and could log more minutes behind Jose Calderon. Calderon played 26 minutes and Grant had 20 against the Bucks last week and moving forward he could get an extended look from Derek Fisher.
Jose Calderon is an experienced point guard and has helped the younger players on the roster, but the Knicks may want to change things up on offense later in the season. Calderon dealt with injuries last year and while he has been mostly healthy so far, the team may want to limit some minutes to keep him healthy. Grant has been slumping a bit over the past month, but he has his exciting moments and could earn more playing time going forward.
The Knicks could use Calderon as trade bait going forward if they get strong play from Jerian Grant, Langston Galloway and Arron Afflalo, but right now the team is satisfied with the guards on the roster. Calderon came up as a trade target last season and depending on how things go leading into the deadline, he could come up again. Porzingis has helped get the team off to a good start and the team has high hopes for him this year.
The Knicks were pleased with what Porzingis did in the Summer League and the team had hoped that he could contribute as a rookie, but what he has been doing has been far beyond early expectations. The Knicks made upgrades to the roster with the signings of Robin Lopez, Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo for Carmelo Anthony and that has helped the team get off to a much better start than last season.