Kevin Knox knows “the numbers aren’t there,” so he’s trying to look past them from what largely has been a statistically unproductive second season in the NBA.
Knox, the team’s 2018 lottery pick, is hoping to finally start earning increased playing time due to the improvements to his all-around game he has worked on in recent weeks, as cited by interim coach Mike Miller.
Knox is averaging just 6.8 points and 18.3 minutes per game this season, down from 12.8 points and 28.8 minutes per appearance as a rookie after the Knicks selected him ninth overall out of Kentucky.
“That’s something I hope for, I don’t know how with the coaches and how the minutes are going to go, but that’s something I would like,” Knox said after practice Thursday in Tarrytown. “Just going out there, if I play 10 minutes, if I play 25, 30, just going out there and leaving it all on the floor, defensively and offensively. I’m really just trying to play hard on both sides of the court.
“It’s really just showing my full package. I think the second half of the season, I want to really show I’m just not a shooter and can make plays for others.”
Miller acknowledged that the second-year forward has done “some things we think are really good signs” in recent weeks, including “two of his better, more impactful games that he’s played this season” at both ends of the court.
The 20-year-old Knox is shooting just 36.8 percent from the floor — and 32.6 percent from 3-point range — for the season. But Miller has seen improvements in other areas, such as the 6-foot-7 Knox’s defensive positioning and using his length to disrupt passing lanes and contest shots.