New York Knicks rookie Kevin Knox has received a number of intriguing upside comparisons, but he patterns his game after a superstar: Kevin Durant.
The New York Knicks have an opportunity to help Kevin Knox develop into one of the premier forwards in the NBA. He’s an up-and-coming talent who has been described as, “Clay,” by his former coaching staff for his moldable and adaptable abilities.
As the Knicks ponder how Knox should play in the NBA, it continues to be stated that he patterns his game after one of the most dynamic scorers in Association history.
Knox is a compelling player at 6’9″ and 213 pounds with a near 7’0″ wingspan, a 9’0″ standing reach, and a modern offensive game. He’s a force in transition, a better shooter than the percentages show, and a versatile finisher at the rim.
"“That’s the person he wants to emulate,” Payne told The Post. “So here’s what Durant does, and here is your package. Not that he’s Kevin Durant, but he can be in that vein. I told him this should be your staple of what you’re trying to get to. There may never be another Kevin Durant, but I told him there are things he does that are similar to you to take and learn from him. Because he’s ultra-talented and a ball of clay waiting for somebody to form him.”"
Knox himself has stated that he grew up loving Durant’s game, but he knows that it’s now a competition between he and the stars of the NBA.
Knox may never grow to be the size or length of Durant, but that doesn’t mean he can’t properly emulate his game. Durant’s physical tools make him unstoppable, but they aren’t exclusively what enable him to be an effective scorer.
The four-time scoring champion plays a fundamentally sound game that includes tremendous footwork and an almost flawless midrange jump shot.
The balance between Durant’s midrange game and his three-ball—194 midrange conversions to 173 from distance in 2017-18—is a significant aspect of what makes him so difficult to defend.
Knox shares a similar ability to pull up off the bounce and consistently convert from 16-to-24 feet. His three-point range is still expanding, but he has good form and a high release point, which should help him thrive in catch and shoot scenarios.
Only time will tell if Knox masters the art of driving the lane, but he has the physical tools and skill level to become the complete package as a scorer.
If the New York Knicks consistently put Kevin Knox in the best position to succeed, he could prove how legitimate that upside is.