A cutback in minutes could ruin Mario Hezonja‘s return to Orlando on Sunday, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Hezonja, who spent three years with the Magic before signing with the Knicks over the summer, got his first DNP of the season last night in a loss to the Pelicans.
Hezonja has been the victim of an evolving rotation in New York, along with his own inconsistent play. He’s shooting just .397 from the field and a career-worst .280 from 3-point range.
“That’s just how the rotation is where it’s at,” coach David Fizdale said after the game. “Trey [Burke] didn’t play [in two games] and he scored 24 for me tonight. I tell all the guys stay ready, it’s a revolving door. Everyone will get a chance to help our team. I think [Hezonja] will.’’
There’s more news out of New York:
- Burke credits a change in attitude for Friday night’s scoring outburst, Berman relays in a separate story. He hadn’t shown the explosiveness that helped earn him a rotation spot after being signed from the G League last season, and says he wasn’t driving to the basket enough. “[I was] being conservative, letting the game come to me,’’ Burke said. “Not attacking immediately. Naturally I’m a scoring point guard. When I attack it’s not always for me to score, it creates for others to. I wasn’t doing that.”
- Rookie center Mitchell Robinson showed off his shot-blocking prowess last night with seven rejections in 24 minutes, Berman adds in another piece. He ranks fourth in the league in blocks per 36 minutes at 3.7 and gets many of those with his left hand, a fact that his high school coach, Butch Stockton, takes credit for. “I taught him that,’’ Stockton said. “When he was in high school with us, I always stressed to him to block shots with his left hand. Most people you play against are right-handed. Mitchell can always spring better with his left hand up. His senior year he was the best shot-blocker in the country.’’
- Two days after unveiling a new starting lineup, Fizdale changed it again in New Orleans, Berman tweets. The latest move involves rookie Allonzo Trier, who was inserted into the starting five in place of Noah Vonleh.