The sophomores take the next step
The Knicks selected Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson in last year’s draft and picked up Allonzo Trier as an undrafted rookie. All three of them played significant minutes and roles with the Knicks in their first year, and they all proved that they are part of the Knicks future.
As they enter their second year in the league, they will need to prove that they can be consistent contributors and have an impact upon the game. Their rookie year is over and so is their adjustment period. It is time for them to take the next step and contribute.
One of the most critical players for the Knicks next season will be Knox. With the vacancy at the small forward position, he will be the undoubted starter and he will be expected to produce.
Knox had an up and down rookie year riddled with inefficiency, but he proved that he can score and shoot the ball. The Knicks will need him to be more consistent with his jump shot and improve upon his efficiency. He will need to shoot better than he did last year at 37 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range.
Knox has to provide viable floor spacing for guys like RJ Barrett, Dennis Smith, and Julius Randle to operate. The best way he can complement the Knicks is if he is consistent with his shot, is able to create for himself, and can draw contact near the rim.
Robinson like Knox will play a big role for the Knicks next season. He is currently the presumptive starting center following his strong finish to last season and the lack of depth at the center position.
Robinson is one of the best shot blockers in the league and New York will need him to continue protecting the rim at a high-level. He is also a good target in the pick and roll, and his athleticism puts him on the alley-oop watch at all times.
What the Knicks will need from Robinson is consistency, and for him to bring his A-game every night. He has to adjust to playing big minutes and being on the floor at critical points of the game. He has to limit the fouls and make smart plays when it means the most.
Allonzo Trier was relatively consistent in his rookie year despite his injuries. Trier has proven that he can score and is a good spark off the bench, but the Knicks will need him to become more of a playmaker.
Instead of him being one dimensional by focusing on scoring, New York will need him to be more of a distributor and to play off the ball more. With an added focus on defense and playmaking, Trier can be the bench spark the team needs.