Head coach Tom Thibodeau has spent parts of recent practices testing different lineups, some of which included small-ball variations, according to Berman. The 21-year-old Knox is averaging 16.2 minutes in 23 games this season, lower than his previous two campaigns.
One thing Knox has added this year is three-point shooting, connecting on 37.9% of his shots, albeit on limited attempts. Those small-ball lineups would likely feature Obi Toppin at starting power forward and Julius Randle at center. New York currently holds a 14-16 record.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- With the Celtics playing the Pelicans on Sunday, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston examines three New Orleans players that could interest the team in a potential trade. Among those players is Josh Hart, whose versatility, size and shooting could bolster Boston’s depth at the wing positions.
- Sixers rookie Isaiah Joe has learned from several veteran players this season, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The 76ers added Dwight Howard to a veteran mix that already included Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and others last offseason, giving Joe plenty of players to learn from. For the season, the 21-year-old is averaging 4.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and 12.9 minutes in 17 games.
- The scrutiny that comes with playing in New York made Knicks star Julius Randle a better basketball player, Berman examines in a separate story for the New York Post. “I felt like I wasn’t playing my best basketball,’’ Randle said on J.J. Redick’s podcast, as relayed by Berman. “I don’t care what anyone says — there’s no tougher place to play than New York with the media and the fans who know and love the game. It’s a tough place to play. Anyone who loves the game is going to be sensitive about their craft. I was sensitive to it and really wanted to get better. My progression in my career was every year I got better. I took it personal and a challenge and think I’ve done that.’’