Will Knicks have enough minutes to go around for Shane Larkin?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

With first-time head coach Derek Fisher set to make the transition from the hardwood to the sidelines quicker than most, it’ll be interesting to see how his rotations shape up as the season begins.

But as the five-time NBA champion looks for the Knicks to utilize the triangle offense, the two point-guard lineups that have previously proven to be successful for New York recently appear to be a thing of the past.

USATSI_7773993_110579513_lowresEarlier in the offseason, the Knicks jettisoned Raymond Felton to Dallas and instead upgraded the point guard position by acquiring Jose Calderon. An excellent floor general with an uncanny ability to spread the floor with his long-range shooting prowess, the latter looks like a viable option to help lead the team’s offense. Calderon will certainly also receive help manning the position from Pablo Prigioni, a savvy veteran who garners respect from his teammates and knows how to control the tempo of an offense quite well.

With these two veteran leaders set to receive the bulk of playing time moving forward, one has to wonder if there’ll be enough minutes to go around for Shane Larkin.

Considered merely a throw-in included in the trade with the Mavericks that otherwise saw the Knicks acquire Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, and two draft picks, Larkin should be looked at as more than just an afterthought.

As he aimed to fight his back from a broken ankle during his rookie year with Dallas, it took Larkin a while to find his groove. Having played sparingly in just 48 contests last season, one could argue he’s still trying to find it. But after garnering high praise from NBA D-League coaches while on assignment from the Mavericks, Larkin picked up right where he left off last season as he impressed the Knicks during Summer League.

As starting point guard for New York in Las Vegas, Larkin manned the offense like a true pro. He found teammates in the right spots on the court, controlled the tempo, and helped execute Coach Fisher’s desired plays rather well. The University of Miami product isn’t the most flashy floor general, but he has solid court-vision and seemingly even better instincts.

Having built a strong rapport with the likes of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cleanthony Early, there’s no doubt such players could play nicely off of Larkin in the team’s second unit.

In college, Larkin was expected to score more as the team’s number option, and thus, his playmaking ability has ever since been questioned. Having said that, he’s shown plenty of potential to suggest he can hold his own with the Knicks.

It will likely benefit Larkin more to learn under the likes of Calderon and Prigioni, all the while receiving a chance to fight for rotation minutes, rather than be pushed to the end of the bench or play the bulk of his minutes in the minor league instead. Whether he gets that chance ultimately remains to be seen.




35 comments
eddievee
eddievee

When do the Knicks report to training camp?

Marvel_
Marvel_

Larkin is ready and he will beat out Prigs in camp. NO need to move either PG, Prigs will be a solid emergency PG.

rico
rico

I think playing time is going to be based on performance, so why ask this question now?  I could see this being discussed after training camp (where Larkin has a jump on the other 2 because of Summer league) but 

right now= anybodies guess.  


The guys who play the best will probably get the most minutes.  You can quote me :)

jax13
jax13

I think depending on match ups, Larkin will be the backup pg. I like prigs but Larkin gives a much different look and I hope he can defend the quick little guards.

Also like his bloodlines with his Dad.

bsmooth1
bsmooth1

Call me optimistic about him, but I see him being that PG of the future. Think Nate Robinson with maturity. I think defenses will have a tough time keeping up with him once he truly finds his way. I was actually more excited to see Phil get a 1st rounder without drafting one this year. Doing a great job

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Larkin's season last year paralleled Shump for offensive futility. I want to see him succeed against NBA level opponents before declaring him ahead of Prigioni, who started over 40 games, including the 2013 stretch run.

NoVaCaInE
NoVaCaInE

I think Larkin will be fine as the backup PG. Makes no sense having him play in the D-League. He can shoot, pass, defend and get into the paint. All things we need on this roster. Pablo should be the 3rd string PG/mentor. There is nothing wrong with having 3 PG's on the roster anyways. Injuries do happen throughout the course of the season. 

2dullah2
2dullah2

Shane Larkin is our permanent PG of the future...

BOOK IT...

brookdon
brookdon

With Calderon and Prigs we def need a change of pace guy. I think he's good for 10-15 mins per game. Showed he has some potential defensively and as a finisher in the SL

bsmooth1
bsmooth1

Barring a trade I see Shane getting playing time. He plays D and is developing his shot nicely. Not to mention he has uncanny instincts on the defensive side of the ball. Let's face it, if he was 6'2 I believe Dallas would have not have let him go as a throw in

TkBK1ng
TkBK1ng

im assuming larkin gets more minutes then priggy smalls ... we need a change of pace pg not two slow ones

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

The move of the D League team from Erie, PA to Westchester is a big plus for players, like Larkin, that need to develop their game before being NBA ready. With Prigioni onboard, we can let Larkin develop and see if he can become our backup PG of the future.

JerseyFan1
JerseyFan1

People still believe 36-37 year old Prigs is the backup answer. 2 months to go.

buddhabing
buddhabing

I agree with you to a point. They may not win a title this year but establishing a winning culture is important. If playing Prigioni over Larkin gives them a better chance at making playoffs you have to do it. It'll only be for one season. Prigioni won't be back next year. Sitting and learning for another year won't hurt the kid.

2dullah2
2dullah2

I have found something to agree with you on...

2dullah2
2dullah2

Paralleled Shumps FIRST year or Shump LAST year?

Makes a big difference...

As a rookie getting less playing time than Shump how could you make that comparison?

phenomenal
phenomenal

@TkBK1ng I think it'll depend on matchups more than anything... I think they'll be able to split time.  Shane gonna have to show and prove.  One thing about Priggy is he is steady.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic I'd look to trade Prigioni at this point. If we're talking in terms of fits, he isn't a good one for the triangle.

jax13
jax13

I agree. I can envision him as more like Ty Lawson, I pray Larkin will be that good!

Larkin could be a great change of pace pg which could really help throw other teams off with the triangle.

Imagine running the triangle all game n Larkin comes in we actually run with him, Timmy, early, n give the other team something to get them on their heels

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

@VerySilentJay @Knicks_Fanatic No way.  We need Pablo.  Its a good thing to have 3 PGs like we do.  Pablo or Calderon will have injuries at some point.  Calderon isn't old but he's not young either.  Pablo is a great backup but can't play heavy minutes.  Right now we need all three.  If a good trade comes along, sure you consider it, but I wouldn't look to trade any of them right now.  Depth at the PG spot is a GOOD thing.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@VerySilentJay @Knicks_Fanatic 

Prigioni can hit an open shot, 46% on threes, and pass the ball. He is adequate on defense. Not sure for $1.6 million, you are going to upgrade the team at the point.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@knicksgirl35 I agree. He can be third string as long as Shane shows he can hold down the backup position. Priggy is smart and savvy. He rarely makes mistakes and he seems to calm the team down when things get dicey. It doesn't hurt to keep someone like him on the roster especially at his price tag. He just can't play extended minutes and there is nothing wrong with that.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic @VerySilentJay His release is as slow as they come. His movement off the ball isn't quick enough to grab defenses by surprise while making cuts. He can't get a shot off a screen ala Danny Green, not with that release.

If we're going merely by fits, he isn't.

You can get a 2nd rounder easily for him.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@VSJ Hey Jay! Why trade him? We can keep him as 3rd string, no? Lord knows injuries happen. Doesn't hurt to have a smart guy there. If we do trade him, who would it be for? He makes very little money. We'd have to pair him with another asset. If it is for a 2nd rounder, not sure it's worth it.

I don't think trading him should be a priority right now.

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

@VerySilentJay @knicksgirl35 @JerseyFan1 So you don't want a good 3rd string PG?  Our PG play last year was awful.  I think Larkin has potential but in no way do I want to risk our PG position.  With all 3 of them its very solid and each one brings something different to the table, which is good.  What if Calderon gets injured and is out for a few weeks?  You want to only have Larkin?  I'd trade Pablo or Larkin if the right deal came along but I think PG is a position we shouldn't be worried about right now.  Its a good thing to have all 3 of them on the team. 

jax13
jax13

He looked real quick in summer league n pushed the ball up nicely. I love Lawson so I hope he can get anywhere close to as good as him.

Someone compared him to Nate but I don't see that. My first though was Ty Lawson.