With the New York Knicks season well underway, Beno Udrih has yet to make a meaningful contribution.
Is it his fault? No. Mike Woodson has yet to play him over 20 minutes in any of the Knicks matchups this season and there is no valid reason for it.
Let’s take a more in depth look at the veteran.
As of right now, the Knicks have been running a dual point guard starting lineup throughout the season with Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. This was relatively successful for New York last season so I have no disquiet with it. However, I do have a problem with Udrih not playing significant minutes off the bench.
With Udrih playing an average of just 9.8 minutes per game, it is nearly impossible for him to make a huge impact off the bench. The other issue with not playing him when running the two point guard lineup is the Knicks do not have another option at point guard.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert have spent extended periods of time running the show for the Knicks. These two players are swingman and do not excel at distributing and making their teammates better.
This season Udrih has averaged 2.0, 1.3 assists per game, and 0.5 rebounds per game in his extremely limited playing time.
Woodson failed to even activate him in the games against the Timberwolves and Bulls. Udrih showed what he can do in extended minutes during the preseason, with a 19 point, seven assist, and four rebound effort against the Toronto Raptors.
This is the only time throughout the preseason and regular season that Woodson has played Beno over 26 minutes in a game. With Udrih playing so little minutes, Felton has been playing nearly 35 minutes a contest, and with Felton approaching 30, injury is going to be a constant concern for him going forward.
If Woodson gave Udrih more minutes, it would put less stress on Felton and injuries wouldn’t be an immediate concern.
While many people don’t know because Udrih has been relatively obscure throughout his career, Udrih has been a consistent player in the NBA since 2007.
He was the starting point guard for the Kings from 2007 to 2011 and carved out relatively successful seasons year after year. Last season Udrih played 27 minutes a game for the Orlando Magic after getting traded to Orlando from the Milwaukee Bucks at the trade deadline and he was relatively effective with the Magic averaging 10.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game in Orlando.
If Woodson decides to bump up Udrih’s minutes, I predict there would be nothing but a positive impact in New York.