|Thomas playing for Knicks' future - whether he's part of it or not|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 20 March 2008 10:47|
Thomas made it clear Thursday he's playing for the future - whether he's a part of it or not - by revealing the Knicks probably will not use Zach Randolph the next two games.
With starters Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry already sidelined after surgery and Quentin Richardson questionable, the Knicks could be missing nearly their entire starting lineup when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.
Fine with Thomas, who wants longer looks at players such as Randolph Morris and Wilson Chandler.
``This time of year, I think with the roster that we have, we need to take a look at the young players that we have,'' Thomas said, ``particularly some that we have to make decisions on if we're going to keep contractually.''
Yes, he said ``we.''
For the second straight day, Thomas spent most of his session with the media answering questions about the Knicks' potential interest in Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh for his job as team president. But Thomas said he knew what his future holds, and didn't sound like a man on his way out.
``I plan on being here,'' he said. ``I'm here today, you'll see me tomorrow, and I'll be there the next day.''
Beyond that remains a mystery. He wouldn't say if his belief came from a conversation with Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, who hasn't spoken to the media in more than a year. The Knicks and Walsh have not commented on any discussions.
Thomas also said he hadn't heard from Walsh, who hired him as Indiana's coach in 2000. But Thomas added they have a good relationship and that there was ``no need to.''
Whoever is in charge has a good chance to be picking early in the draft.
The Knicks (19-48) have the fifth-worst record in the league, and their games this weekend are against teams just behind them in the standings: Memphis (16-51) and Minnesota (17-50). The worse the Knicks finish, their better chance of winning the lottery.
A loss Friday drops New York 30 games below .500 and matches last season's total, but guard Jamal Crawford said the record wasn't as bad as it looked because, ``now we're just playing young guys and now I'm not sure exactly how we're trying to finish up.''
New York didn't give the appearance of a team trying to win Monday, playing its starters a combined 19 minutes in the fourth quarter of a 110-98 loss at Indiana. The Knicks trailed by only two at the end of three.
Thomas often seemed oddly reserved on the sidelines of that game, but says the Knicks aren't out to lose.
``We're definitely trying to win, but I do understand with younger players you're going to make some mistakes and they do get beat by savvy and that's why they need a learning experience now,'' he said. ``But we're definitely trying to win the basketball game.''