Well, well, well. It appears we are here sooner than expected. We are only two games into the 2015-16 season, and us media people are already pushing Jose Calderon out of the New York Knicks starting five. It appears that the rookie Jerian Grant seems to be the guy everybody is looking at to lead the Knicks first group to the promised-land.
Even though Grant is a rookie, he seems to fit the bill. In his first two games as a pro, he’s seen 52 minutes of action. Grant’s averaging 7.5 points per-game, 4 rebounds, and a good-looking 6 assists. On the other hand, starting point-guard Jose Calderon has only seen 35 minutes in these first two games. Calderon is averaging 2.5 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. These numbers do not look like those of a starter.
This team may not have a lot of talent, but it does have chemistry. There is no telling how the team would react, but I for one believe that the players would have no issue with it. When I say “players”, I mean Calderon specifically. He recently spoke on his role on the team.
“I’m trying to make [Grant’s] jump into the NBA as comfortable as possible,” Calderon says. “It doesn’t matter who plays at the end of the day. I’m not happier because I’m starting on the Knicks. I could be starting, I could be coming off of the bench, and I’d be the same way. It’s important to be in a good environment.”
Hear that, Fish?
It is not like Grant is a raw talent. He was drafted as a senior out of Notre Dame, and having Harvey Grant as a father, and Horace Grant as an uncle, I imagine he knows how to play the game of basketball the correct way. He is 23 years old, and very mature while on-and-off the court.
Once Arron Afflalo comes back from his hamstring injury in a little less than two weeks, expect a back-court of Grant and Afflalo to be experimented with. Grant knows how to push the pace, and find guys on the court when they don’t even know they’re open. In those productive 52 minutes, he only took eleven shots. He’s displayed glimpses of what he can do by driving to the rim and getting to the line, along with pretty side of the basket step back jumpers. As time goes on, he will know where he should be shooting on the court.
These are things that Calderon simply is not capable of at this point in his career. He can not cut to the basket and get fouled because he would be risking injury. Calderon can still shoot lights out, but this is an attribute that is suited more for a bench role. Leading a young second unit makes sense for Calderon. I understand what Fisher has been doing with a slower starting unit that runs the offense, then the second unit comes in to push the pace. But in order to be successful, a coach needs to mix it up. Both unit’s should be running fast breaks, along with running their offense the correct way.
Game 3 of the season is tonight against the Washington Wizards. I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of Grant than Calderon since Grant will be able to keep up with the speed of John Wall. If you ask me if Jerian Grant will be starting for the Knicks at point guard this season, I would say it is only a matter of time.
Oh and one more thing, Happy Halloween!
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