Two years ago, the New York Knicks were struggling mightily despite heavy expectations. During the lockout shortened 2011-12 season, the Knicks began 8-13 under head coach Mike D’Antoni. The Knicks’ problem then was similar to the Knicks’ problem now: terrible play from their point guard position.
And then Jeremy Lin happened. With Carmelo Anthony on the sidelines, Lin averaged 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and 2.0 steals in his first four starts (all Knick wins) and brought the Knicks back to life. The Knicks now, who will likely lose starting point guard Raymond Felton after the 29-year-old was arrested on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon early Tuesday, are down to Pablo Prigioni and Toure Murry as the only current point guard options on the roster. They cut Beno Udrih just a couple days ago.
Prigioni will likely resume his starting role with either J.R. Smith or Tim Hardaway Jr. sliding into the second guard position, but Prigioni has only played more than 30 minutes in a game this season six times. The Knicks are 3-3 in those games. The question that begs asking is whether the Knicks, who have absolutely nothing to lose at this point in the season, should hand over the position to a relatively unknown talent in Murry — like they did with Lin.
The 24-year-old Murry is a defense-first guard who, at 6-foot-5, can be a terror for opposing point guards. With more playing time he would provide a much-needed attacking playing style for the Knicks at the position. That style of play is desperately needed on a team that is bogged down by Anthony’s isolation-dominant style of play.
The Knicks have nothing to lose, so they should give Murry a chance to prove himself. Barring any free agent signings, he will have to play considering Prigioni can’t handle many minutes. Murry likely won’t be the second coming of Lin, but he could be a shot in the arm for a team that has completely forgotten what a decent point guard can do for a team.