Knicks Notes: Lineup, Hezonja, Porzingis, Lee

The Knicks are making a couple changes to their starting lineup, as Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets. Emmanuel Mudiay and Kevin Knox are set to replace Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson in the club’s starting five.

According to Berman (via Twitter), head coach David Fizdale referred to Mudiay today as the Knicks’ “best passer.” While Ntilikina has been effective as a defender this season, he has struggled to produce on the offensive end, and Fizdale is looking for more creation from the point guard spot, Berman notes.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Mario Hezonja represented the Knicks’ most significant free agent addition this past offseason, but he has struggled to hit his stride in New York — he’s shooting a career-worst 29.2% on three-pointers so far. Zach Braziller of The New York Post explores how the Knicks are trying to find the right role for Hezonja and get him going. “I think I’m falling into the same things that other coaches have tried to find: What is he?” Fizdale said. “What spot is best on the floor for him? Can he handle playing the four and the two from a position-less standpoint? Or does he just need to be slotted?”
  • In a separate article for The Post, Braziller relays comments Kristaps Porzingis made to GQ and observes that Porzingis sounds like someone who plans to return to the court well before the end of the season. “Now that it’s getting closer, I can taste it,” Porzingis, who continues to recover from last season’s ACL tear, told Alex Shultz of GQ. “I’m trying to stay patient. The day will come.”
  • The Knicks provided an update on Courtney Lee‘s health following a re-evaluation on Tuesday, tweeting that the veteran wing is progressing well and will begin running on the court this week. Lee is expected to be a prime trade chip for New York at this season’s deadline if gets healthy.
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7 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Lineup, Hezonja, Porzingis, Lee

  1. Dionis

    I’m liking Fizdale so far as coach of the Knicks, you can tell he has learned a lot from his failed stint in Memphis. If any Knick starter is not performing he simply benched them, I’ve been a huge Ntilikina supporter since he got drafted but the kid is looking more and more like a bust and I know he’s young and has shown flashes but I only see him being a good defender and not much else.

    Talent wise Mudiay is the best point guard the Knicks have from ball handling,shot creating, and playmaking ability Emmanuel is the best the Knicks have. Hopefully he finds someway to take control of the point guard position the rest of the way.

    • jkoms57

      They’re basically an expansion franchise made up of 1st round busts.

      It’s hard to believe this is a team that’s been around building this roster for years…

      Then you realize Phil wasted all assets on D-Rose, Melo & Noah.

      Franck is struggling and could take a step back for his own good, but Mudiay is the worst starting PG in the league.

  2. Nebraska Tim

    Hezonja looked terrible in the one game I saw (so super small sample size caveats apply!). He always stood out when he was on the floor as the player who didn’t belong: too slow, can’t defend, standing still.

      • jkoms57

        What role does he play?
        He’s not a good defender, rebounder, creator, or shooter..

        He’s basically a volume scorer that’s good for 3 good games per year.

  3. I’d love to see Mudiay starting at PG, but it’s pointless if it’s only going to be for a few games. There has to be some commitment. 30 minutes a night. 30-35 games at a minimum, until about mid-year. Let him (not the iso boys) set the tone for the offense. If Mudiay doesn’t establish himself as a starting PG in that period, then ship him off or whatever.

    Fizdale prides himself on being a developer of talent. I like a lot of his moves. But, regardless of practice/teaching, nobody is going to develop much in a yo-yo rotation of guys playing in a system with little to no ball movement.

  4. x%sure

    Fizdale ha. Hezonja is not a “slotted” player, he is an unleashed player & is not aware of positions. Nickname, the Beast. Sounds like a bad fit in NY, and Fizdale has more pull. Get outta town Super Mario! Wrong coach! Other teams are playing his style, or trying to.

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