NBA

Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony convinces New York Knicks veterans to take a minutes cut

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The New York Knicks have had a season to forget as they missed out on the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

After being mathematically eliminated from postseason contention earlier in the week, their focus has firmly switched to ensuring they do not end the campaign prematurely, once again, in 2017.

With that in mind, the Knicks' main man, Carmelo Anthony, has volunteered to take a hit to his playing time in the final weeks of the season so the younger guys can get more time on the hardwood.

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The 31-year-old, who is producing a career-high amount of assists per game with 4.2, has even convinced some of his older teammates to follow suit. 

As per Newsday's Al Iannazzone, he said: "I went to Jose (Calderon) and (Robin Lopez) and asked them what they felt just about that whole idea of if you're playing 35 minutes, how about playing 30 minutes and spreading the minutes out and let some other guys get opportunities out there. They were all for it and we went to (coach) Kurt (Rambis) and we talked to Kurt about it.

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"It's more of getting those guys involved in what we're trying to do and what we're trying to create and keep on moving forward. They need to be out there, they need playing time, they need playing experience. You can practice and do drills, one-on-one things all day long, but you're going to get that experience playing in the games."

The players in question are likely to be rookie point guard Jerian Grant, sophomore shooting guard Langston Galloway and Derrick Williams, the 24-year-old former number two draft pick. 

Grant, the 19th pick in last year's draft, has seen averaging 15.4 minutes per night and is producing 4.8 points and 2.2 assists a game.

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

In his second year at Madison Square Garden, Galloway has been his minutes cut back from 32.4 to 24.5, with that his overall contribution diminishing. He is producing 7.5 on average, shooting 39.7 percent from the field. 

8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per night is what Williams has brought to the table since he moved to the Big Apple, and Anthony believes the move can only be good for the players 

"I think it's good for the morale of the team, I think it's good for their confidence. Sometimes in a situation like this as a player you can lose your confidence, and that's something you don't want."

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

Interim head coach Kurt Rambis took the idea to president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills, who are both said to be on board, and he believes it is a chance to assess their options.

"We'd like to cut down on guys' minutes that we feel secure with, we know who they are as players and played well for us, and try and cut back their minutes to open up more minutes for other guys."

Topics:
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Carmelo Anthony
Robin Lopez

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