After a strong performance against the Charlotte Hornets, does Kevin Knox warrant a return to the starting lineup for the New York Knicks?
New York Knicks rookie Kevin Knox became the first teenager in NBA history to put up 26 points and 15 rebounds in a game since LeBron James. The 19-year-old has improved his activity since he and Frank Ntilikina were criticized. Knox has averaged over seven rebounds per game in his last five contest; a significant jump from his 3.2 in his previous 16 games. It appears Knox may receive a reward for his efforts.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, head coach David Fizdale is “mulling” over the idea of replacing Mario Hezonja with the ninth overall pick for Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former lottery pick of the Orlando Magic has struggled since signing a one-year deal with the team over the summer. Moving Knox into the starting lineup could allow him to develop some chemistry with the perceived starters for the rest of the season.
Considering the move would deplete an already injured-riddled bench; moving Knox to the starting lineup will help Knox confidence against starting level players. Knox would make only his fourth start of the season if move to the line up, and the timing couldn’t be better.
Currently the Cleveland Cavaliers have the worst defensive rating (114.8) in the league. The Knicks rank 28th, and have turned to the youth movement. The player drafted one spot ahead of Knox was Alabama guard Collin Sexton, who is on fire to start the season, shooting over 45 percent from the field and behind the arc,while playing just under 30 mins per contest. Cleveland recently traded away starting point guard George Hill, clearing the deck for the Sexton era in Cleveland, and he has not disappointed. The Cavaliers were able to acquire the lighting-quick guard in the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston a season ago.
Will Knox enter the starting lineup for this game? It will be an interesting decision to follow before game time.