Jimmer Fredette has spent most of his 10-day deal on bench.
Spent almost exclusively on the bench, Jimmer Time is almost over.
The 10-day contract of New York’s hyped D-league call-up Jimmer Fredette expires following Tuesday’s game against the Trail Blazers, which is really his opportunity to make a first and last impression.
Interim coach Kurt Rambis said he’d like to get a longer look at Fredette, but acknowledged management is exploring other options. The Knicks will have to decide by Thursday whether to give the 27-year-old another 10-day contract or send him back the D-League team in Westchester.
Cleanthony Early, who was shot in his knee during a robbery in Queens on Dec. 30, is getting closer to a return.
“Sure. I would (like to give him a longer look). But that’s a management decision on what they want to do,” Rambis said. “We have a roster spot. We have (Early) who is coming back soon. It’s going to be very difficult for him to break into the rotation. But we’ll see.”
Despite chants of “We want Jimmer” from the Garden crowds, Fredette played just two minutes over four games and hit his lone field goal attempt. The Knicks (25-36), who’ve lost 14 of their last 17 games, were blown out by the Heat on Sunday and Fredette still didn’t get off the bench.
The Knicks are banged up and have entered the phase where the playoffs are a pipe dream and the crowds are cheering for the opposition. It happened Sunday when a “Let’s Go Heat” echoed throughout the Garden.
“How can you not hear that?” Carmelo Anthony said. “You’re home, you don’t want to hear that. I’m assuming they were all Miami Heat fans. I want to believe that. I want to think that. I don’t want to think it was New York Knicks fans.
“I was surprised. I was very surprised.”
Monday’s practice was essentially canceled by Rambis because there weren’t enough healthy bodies, although they still met at the facility and went through individual workouts. Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis both got the day off while dealing with soreness. Arron Afflalo underwent an MRI because of knee swelling and the results were negative.
Rambis acknowledged that his contrasting coaching style to Derek Fisher’s may have contributed to fatigue because he emphasizes hard scrimmaging.
“On some level I might have pushed them too much because their workload went up 30 percent and that’s part of the fatigue factor,” Rambis said. “And it may — and I emphasize the may — had some contributing factors to guys not shooting (just 37 percent in Sunday’s loss to Miami).”
Anthony, who is just about a year removed from knee surgery, has played at least 35 minutes in New York’s last eight games.
“I’m in conversations with him even during the ballgame and asking him in timeouts if he’s okay and most of the time he says he’s okay and sometimes he says he needs a couple of minutes for a break. I’m trusting him that he knows his body,” Rambis said. “I’ve talked to the team too and told them they can’t keep putting the pressure on him by only going through him on offense. It doesn’t do him any him and it doesn’t do us any good.”
Rambis also spoke to the frustration of president Phil Jackson, who rarely talks to the media and tweeted the last two days about Stephen Curry and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
“Nobody’s happy about it. We’re all frustrated. Nobody in this organization is okay with where we’re at. We’re striving to do things better. We’re looking at personnel decisions. We’re looking forward to free agency. There’s a lot of basketball talk and communication is going on. But nobody is happy with where we’re at. We have to be better. We have to be better in a lot of areas.”
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