New York Knicks: Five narratives that have defined 2019-20 so far

New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

4. What happened to the 2018 rookie class?

Yes, that 2018 rookie class that seemed like the New York Knicks’ future. Perhaps part of it remains the case, but the use of two-thirds of that class spells some doubt on where they stand with the organization.

Remember when Allonzo Trier was a story of 2018-19? From undrafted to seemingly a steal, the Arizona product earned an NBA contract off his two-way deal. He held a steady role and seemed poised to retain it this season.

However, Trier has appeared in just eight of New York’s 17 games, three of which were for fewer than 10 minutes. As of Nov. 25, coach David Fizdale has benched him for six consecutive games.

Shift the spotlight to Kevin Knox, the 2018 first-round pick. He was demoted to open the season as Marcus Morris‘ backup, but also saw a drop-off in minutes as November progressed. Shooting struggles and defensive lapses created Knox’s demise.

While he has yet to receive a “DNP-CD” next to his name, the Kentucky product is setting himself up for his first Fizdale-imposed benching, joining Trier this year and what Frank Ntilikina experienced in 2018. It’s a hard lesson for Knox to take, but there have been more lows than highs in his brief NBA career.

To a lesser degree, Mitchell Robinson‘s on-court role has not leaped as expected. He has just 18.8 minutes per game, falling back due to injuries and Fizdale starting Taj Gibson at center. Heavy foul trouble is a factor, too, as the second-year man has just four games of fewer than three fouls.

For the promise this 2018 class showed amid a miserable season, they have all taken a backseat to veterans or due to poor play. There is no end in sight for it, but under Fizdale the narratives always change.