Aside from LeBron James and the Cavaliers, NBA rumors seemed to be non-stop when it comes to New York Knicks. Attention about the recent move of Kurt Rambis removing shooting guard Arron Afflalo from the starting line-up seemed to have caught the interest of NBA fans and insiders.
That is why aside from the flurry of thoughts about the future of Knicks star player Carmelo Anthony, people are now speculating on Rambis’ recent changes in the starting line-up.
Others might think that it’s natural for a coach to be creating such changes. But it seems like Knicks fans are not used to seeing Afflalo coming off the bench, especially after being part of the starting line 57 times out of 61 game appearances this season.
According to Kenneth Teape via Fansided, “fans have not been happy with” [this move], “as many people would rather see Vujacic stapled to the bench than getting minutes, especially in the starting lineup.”
It cannot be helped for Knicks avid fans to show concern especially since Afflalo is averaging 13.6 points per game and 2 assists compared to Sasha Vujacic who only averages 3.7 points per game and 1.2 assists.
However, all that is being done by Rambis is somehow part of his strategy. Rambis stated via Newsday that his decision to make Afflalo a substitute player is not a chastisement or form of dislike.
“This is not a punishment. I think it’s more his natural position coming off the bench and it helps us distribute some of our scoring. He’s a player that can provide a lot of defensive energy and offensive punch,” Rambis explanation of the recent change of starting lineup.
However, such explanation of Rambis is not highly supported by the current stats wherein Afflalo is seen to be more productive as a starting player than a coming off the bench.
“In 57 games as a starter, Afflalo is averaging 13.8 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting and 39 percent from deep. In the four games off the bench, Afflalo is averaging 11.5 points per game, shooting less efficiently at 39.1 percent overall,” Teape highlighted in his report.
With the inconsistency between coach Rambis’ words and stats of Arron Afflalo, it seems like more and more complaints from solid New York Knicks fans will come its way. Brace yourself.
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