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Knicks’ point guards, Rose and Jennings, thriving in New York

Derrick Rose (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Derrick Rose (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


The New York Knicks (11-9) defeated the Sacramento Kings (7-13), 106-98, at home on Sunday night.

Both Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose contributed 20 points each while Brandon Jennings had 19 points off the bench. Kristaps Porzingis had his second straight rough shooting night with 15 points but had a great night on the boards with 14 rebounds. KP was also a huge factor on the defensive end with four blocks.

The Knicks coming into this season were in desperate need of a point guard. Knicks’ President, Phil Jackson, had to do work in the offseason to get a point guard that would be an upgrade from Jose Calderon. No offense to Calderon, but he is no longer a starting point guard in this league.

So what Jackson did was acquire a former MVP in Derrick Rose. When you hear the name Derrick Rose, you think of what could have been. Rose was the most athletic, scoring point guard in the game at one time. He was what Russell Westbrook is now in the NBA. Then injuries happened.

When Rose was acquired, the biggest question for him was if he could stay healthy. So far this season, he has played in every game. He is averaging 17 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game this season. He has been a HUGE improvement from Calderon a year ago. Not only offensively, but also defensively. Calderon couldn’t stop anyone from blowing by him. In a point guard heavy league, with so many greats, you have to be able to guard that position.

Not only did the Knicks improve their starting point guard role, they also improved in their back up point guard role.

Brandon Jennings was acquired this offseason on a bargain 1-year, $5 million deal. Jennings suffered a left Achilles tendon that required surgery when he was with the Pistons back on January 2015. Last season he was traded to the Magic where he was not the same player and looked like he didn’t have his rhythm coming off injury.

When the Knicks signed him this off-season, his health was in question as well. But he too, like Rose, has played in every game this season. Jennings likes to push the pace, and look for teammates. When he gets in the game, expect the game to speed up. He has created great chemistry with the bench and is always looking for Porzingis whenever he gets the chance. He is averaging 7.1 points, five assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Those numbers may not look that impressive, but he has played very well this season being a spark off the bench.

With both Rose and Jennings, the Knicks have two point guards who can help break down the defense to create open shots for other teammates, especially Anthony and Porzingis.

Rose and Jennings playing well is a great sign for the Knicks. But it does bring some questions the Knicks front office and Phil Jackson need to address. They are both currently on 1-year deals. That might be extra motivation for both players knowing that they have something to prove being in their contract years.

Rose has said that he would love to stay in New York and spend the rest of his career with the Knicks. So do the Knicks give him an extension, or wait till the offseason? Jennings also has said that it was his dream to play for the Knicks since the year he was drafted. Back in the 2009 Draft, Jennings expected to be drafted by the Knicks, but they drafted Jordan Hill instead. But now, Jennings has embraced New York. So do the Knicks re-sign Jennings in the offseason?

I think it would be smart for the Knicks to wait and find out how this season pans out before deciding on either of them. But if the Knicks make noise and continue to improve and make the playoffs, I wouldn’t be opposed to resigning at least one of them. But they wont be cheap. Let’s hope they continue to play well and stay healthy.

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