Point guard play has been a question mark for the Knicks all season long, and while Elfrid Payton has played consistently as the team's starter, point guard depth continues to be an issue.
In Tuesday's 97-92 loss to Charlotte, interim head coach Mike Miller elected to not play Frank Ntilikina until the game's final three minutes.
This felt like a strange decision by Miller and the coaching staff, seeing as Ntilikina had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go along with three rebounds and two assists against the Nets on Sunday.
Ntilikina's minutes on Tuesday instead went to Dennis Smith Jr., who played 14 minutes, scoring seven points with three rebounds and two assists in 14 minutes on the floor.
When asked about the point guard rotation on Tuesday after the game, Miller indicated that his decision had more to do with the Knicks having fresh legs for Tuesday and Wednesday's back-to-back games.
"I thought Dennis played well. With the back-to-backs and playing against the quick guards that we're going to see the next two nights, we felt like this was a good time to give him a chance," Miller told reporters in Charlotte. "The game dictated that. To have a chance earlier in the game as opposed to coming in at the very end was a better situation, I think."
Over the Knicks' last six games, Ntilikina has averaged 17 minutes, averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 assists.
Smith Jr., on the other hand, had been inactive in all but one of those six games. The first four games of that stretch, Smith Jr. was still recovering from his oblique injury, but after making his return last Wednesday, Smith Jr. was inactive for the next two games as a coach's decision.
The second game of the Knicks' back-to-back will be Wednesday night at the Garden, and the point guard rotation behind Payton will certainly be worth monitoring.