After a disappointing second NBA season, Kevin Knox is taking advantage of a fresh start with the Knicks‘ new coaching staff, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Knox has emerged as a dangerous outside shooter, making nine of his last 10 from beyond the arc.
“Looking at his career, when he’s taken good shots, he’s always made them. Or at least had a good chance to make them,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And when he’s eliminated the tough shots, it makes him a much better player. He plays with a lot more energy defensively. But I want him to get himself going — with his defense first, running the floor, rebounding and then spacing the floor. … Kevin has worked extremely hard to get himself ready for the season.”
Knox, the ninth player taken in the 2018 draft, turned in a strong rookie season, averaging 12.8 PPG in 75 games. But his playing time was cut from 28.8 to 17.9 minutes per game last year and his performance declined across the board. Knox is still only 21 and was counting on a strong preseason showing after the coaching change.
“It’s good, it’s always good to see the ball go through the net,” he said. “But with preseason over now, starting Wednesday we get the real games going, so I want to continue to get the work in, watch a lot of film, get a lot of shots up. It was great to see the ball go through the net these last two games, and hopefully I can continue with that confidence and play with it consistently like I’ve been playing.”
There’s more on the Knicks:
- Ignas Brazdeikis was in the G League for most of his rookie season and opportunities are still coming slowly, observes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Brazdeikis sat out the Knicks’ first three preseason games before playing 17 minutes Friday night. “I’m just working every single day to get better,” he said. “That’s the main focus is just developing my game. I’m still young. I’ve got to improve a lot. I’m not even close to the player I want to be.”
- New York wasn’t able to upgrade its roster in free agency, so the focus turns to developing players into tradable assets, notes Steve Popper of Newsday. He adds that the Knicks weren’t able to find anyone willing to give up a draft pick for Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina and states that Mitchell Robinson might have the most trade value on the roster.
- Nerlens Noel is seeking a new agent after ending his relationship with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball News. Paul and the agency say it was an amicable separation (Twitter link).