All season long for the Knicks, there have been questions about the team's focus on developing young players versus playing more of their veteran signings to try to win games.
Those questions seemed to reach a fever pitch once the team fired head coach David Fizdale and later parted ways with team president Steve Mills.
On Wednesday night, the Knicks dropped their second straight game, falling to 17-38 on the year, and interim head coach Mike Miller was once again asked about the team's development of the roster's young players.
"This is all about development. That will never change," Miller said following the 114-96 loss to the Wizards. "It's about development. It's about how do these guys get better … There's a lot of things that go into the development to make these guys better, and just having minutes isn't the end-all. Certainly, they need experience. Experience is maybe the best teacher at times, and they're getting some experience as they go through it.
"So, we're going to continue every day to work on development and get guys better and move forward, and as we said, as we do that it puts us in a position where you have a chance to win games too. If you say you're focused on development, that doesn't mean you're not trying to win games and you're not trying to improve your overall team."
The box score from Thursday's game displayed that the Knicks did once again seem to relegate most of the minutes to veterans like Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, and Julius Randle, while the young quartet of Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, and Kevin Knox, played an average of just eight minutes each.
The outlier of this Knicks' trend has been RJ Barrett, as the rookie once again started and played 29 minutes in the Knicks' defeat.
On the season, Barrett, the third overall pick, has started 43 of the 44 games he's played in, averaging 30.5 minutes. He's averaged 13.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a rookie, and now that the All-Star break is here, he can relax for a bit before getting back to action.
I'm going to go home, relax, and then come back here and get back to work. We've got another whole part of the season left, and just try to turn it around," said Barrett.
"I had no clue what to expect, actually. I'm just coming in, young kid, trying to learn as much as I can every day and just keep getting better with the team."