Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks not a lock to be in Knicks’ playoff rotation

CHICAGO — Creeping up on the two-month anniversary of the Knicks’ deadline deal with the Pistons, Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks continue to ride the struggle bus, and it leaves questions about their future in the potential playoff rotation.

Burks, 32, already has had his role greatly diminished after returning from a shoulder sprain, averaging just eight minutes in the past four games.

He became the 10th man in the rotation Friday with the return of OG Anunoby, and coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t going to give 10 players legitimate minutes in the postseason.

Bojan Bogdanovic
Bojan Bogdanovic Getty Images

Last year, for instance, Thibodeau’s rotation was mostly cut to eight.

Burks, a shoot-first offensive player, has a field-goal percentage of just 30.8 percent with the Knicks this season.

Since the trade on Feb. 8, he’s the NBA’s least efficient among players with at least 100 shot attempts. No. 2 is Detroit rookie Marcus Sasser, who is shooting 31.8 percent.

Burks, whose net rating with the Knicks is minus-12.2, went 0-for-2 in Friday’s loss to the Bulls with a turnover and zero assists in eight minutes.

The veteran declined to comment after the game.

Bogdanovic, the prize of that Pistons trade, has been afforded more opportunities but only flashed the offensive potential.

Alec Burks
Alec Burks Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

His 15 minutes Friday correlated with collapses by the Knicks, both at the end of the first quarter and start of the fourth.

The 34-year-old’s minus-9.4 net rating is second-worst on the Knicks to Burks’.

Asked why it’s been such a struggle for the two players, Thibodeau didn’t have an answer.

“That’s all part of it,” he said.

The shame is that the Knicks need both players, but Bogdanovic in particular because of the season-ending injury to Julius Randle.

Without Randle, the Knicks don’t have a player who can reliably create offense for himself when Jalen Brunson is off the floor.

If Anunoby is healthy and gets off his minutes restriction — he acknowledged playing under one after logging 29 on Friday — it’s possible Bogdanovic is out of the rotation as well.

It depends on how long Thibodeau can deploy his other forwards, Anunoby and Josh Hart, and also how Precious Achiuwa fits into the mix.

More than 50 years after his final NBA game, Dick Barnett, a two-time champion with the Knicks, was officially named to the Naismith Hall of Fame on Saturday.

“Better late than never,” Barnett told the New York Sun. “It’s almost like a dream. I’ve thought about it for years.”

Barnett was voted in by the Hall of Fame’s veteran committee. He’s the ninth member of the 1973 Knicks championship to be inducted — joining Clyde Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusshere, Red Holzman, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe, Jerry Lucas and Bill Bradley.

His fellow 2024 Hall classmates include Chauncey Billups, Michael Cooper, Vince Carter, and Walter Davis, and coaches Bo Ryan and Charles Smith.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *