Tiffany Salmon makes her Knicks Film School debut with a 30,000 foot look at Kevin Knox.
Kevin Knox’s rookie campaign in the NBA has gotten off to a shaky start. Between scattered minutes, having to deal with a high ankle sprain that kept him out of the lineup for two weeks, and inconsistent results on the offensive end, Knox is experiencing the ups and downs of the NBA.
While his fellow rookie classmates, Allonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson, have treated fans to many highlights and “ omg” moments, we’ve yet to experience the same from Knox.
There are enough expectations that come from being a top ten pick, but especially so for a lottery pick in New York. We all remember the fans who made headlines with boos and dissatisfaction on draft night. On the other hand, for fans like myself, I couldn’t have asked for a better pick.
Drawing some comparisons to another Kevin you might of heard about, Knox’s athleticism, handle, ability to get to the basket, and quickness off the jump should make the most jaded Knicks fan pay attention.
His early results don’t leap off the page. Knox is averaging 9.4 points on 33.7% shooting with 2.2 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 18.9 minutes. But remember, Knox has only played in 9 professional games, which equates into 170 minutes. 170 total minutes. That’s only 3.5 full games of basketball. Knox has plenty of times to tick those numbers up.
However, if he doesn’t, we still can’t forget that he is only a rookie. It takes time to develop players who are so young when entering the league. Just look at Giannis Antetokounmpo. He ended his rookie campaign with a pedestrian average of 6.8 points per game on 41% shooting, to go along with only 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists. I’m just saying.
Over the last three games, we are starting to see the Knox we were hoping to see from Summer League. Not someone who would necessarily lead the team in scoring, but a young player who is confident enough to take and make his shot. He put up 17 points against Orlando, 15 more against Oklahoma City, and he was only slowed by foul trouble in New Orleans, where his three-point shot looked good and he finished with 11 more points on 4-9 shooting.
His defense is another area of untapped potential. With his length and quickness he can make an impact, as long as the effort is there. His 6-11 wingspan should be a weapon defending against long lanky players, match-ups he will see plenty of while playing the 4. We should also see him being more effective with his rebounding once he gains more strength and learns to box-out and position himself as a wing at the power forward position.
Knox has the tools to be a star. Period. Along with our favorite son, Kristaps Porzingis, add Allonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson, and the Knicks have the young talent to be a formidable group for years to come. And let’s not forget about Tim Hardaway Jr., who is still young enough to have his prime years overlap with the trio of rookies.
Everyone is excited about next year’s draft and free agency (*cough KD cough*), but there is plenty of hope with what is already on the Knicks roster, something Knicks fans haven’t been able to say in years. The Knicks are usually chasing hope, not developing it. Kevin Knox is a big part of that optimism.
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