Knicks coach David Fizdale reacted angrily when asked why he put prized rookie RJ Barrett back into the game in garbage time with six minutes left.
Barrett is already leading the Knicks in minutes played and he ended up with 41 more in Sunday’s 113-92 loss to the Kings. The concern is the overuse can lead Barrett to hitting the rookie wall quicker than normal.
“We got to get off this load-management crap,’’ a surly Fizdale said. “Latrell Sprewell averaged 42 minutes for a season. This kid is 19. Drop it already.’’
Barrett, who is averaging 37 minutes per game, scored 22 points but has seen his efficiency drop in his last few outings. Barrett was just 1 of 5 from 3-point range in the loss to the Kings and continued his woes at the free-throw line where he was 5 of 9.
“What do you think?,’’ Barrett said when asked if the minutes are too much for him. “I’m 19. I’m good. If I felt it wasn’t, I’d tell him.’’
On Friday, Fizdale compared Barrett to Kawhi Leonard in his stamina and looking like he’s not breaking a sweat. Ironically, Leonard was the poster boy for “load management’’ last season, held to 60 regular-season games by Toronto on the way to the NBA title.
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