A common thing that most NBA teams follow right now is to manage minutes of key players. It has become an important role, particularly teams who want to reach the playoffs. However, at least one team is not too coy with the idea – the New York Knicks.

The Knicks were not among the favorites this season although making the playoffs is a possibility. They do have a mix of young and veteran players who can achieve that feat. The list includes Julius Randle, rookie RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Bobby Portis. Although the young guys should be durable enough for the long haul, one cannot discount the possibility of injuries.

Managed minutes are normally employed on star players. Among the ones likely to be handled that way are LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard. The reason behind this is that these guys are no longer that young. But age is not the only thing in play, especially with most exposed to the wear-and-tear of the game.

For the Knicks, this is something that they think should be scrapped. In fact, he even singled out a former NBA star in Latrell Sprewell who averaged about 42 minutes a season, the New York Post reported. He feels that Barrett can handle it since he is only 19-years-old.

“We got to get off this load management crap,” Fizdale said. “Latrell Sprewell averaged 42 minutes for a season. This kid is 19. Drop it already.”

However, there is a big difference between the game then and now. The game has evolved and injuries have been given detailed attention, Yahoo Sports reported. Hence, age is not the only derivative factor when it comes to looking out for players. So would this be detrimental to the chances of the Knicks moving forward?

There is no doubt Barrett is one of the promising stars the NBA has to date. Being in his rookie year, unleashing his potential is a must. And for as long as he is playing well, Knicks coach David Fizdale seems bent on using him as much as he can. Barrett and Sprewell are two different players but the hazards of the game are real.

Will it pay off for the Knicks? In the early goings, it may, especially if the Knicks are at the helm of the Eastern Conference. As of this writing, New York has a lone win to show. Bringing out the best in Barrett and other young players is commendable. But if it does not translate into wins, Fizdale may want to rethink defying the load management tactic.

David Fizdale
David Fizdale of the New York Knicks. Head Coach David Fizdale of the New York Knicks talks to his players during the second half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on March 18, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Getty Images/Vaughn Ridley