Who are the players to watch for the New York Knicks against the Philadelphia 76ers?
Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, meaning New York Knicks basketball will return for another game. On Friday, Nov. 29, they will return home to face the Philadelphia 76ers for the second time this season. Coach David Fizdale’s team enters with a three-game losing streak and a 4-14 record.
There are few reasons to be positive about this Knicks team, but they will attempt to overcome the odds and somewhat ease their situation.
To do this, New York needs a handful of players to step up against the Sixers, which is hardly a given. Who do they need the most on Friday?
Coach David Fizdale already tried one wake-up call with Kevin Knox and nothing resulted. He finished with just four points in 11 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, with the on-court time as his second-lowest total of the season. It also marked the second-year forward’s sixth consecutive game of single-digit points.
Clearly, Fizdale is losing confidence in Knox. Whether from the missed scoring chances or the defensive woes, the situation between these two is crumbling. Much like Frank Ntilikina in 2018-19, Knox has hurdles to overcome to return to relevance, except he has a deeper, more veteran-laden roster to overcome.
A road to redemption starts with this game versus Philadelphia. However, that’s if Fizdale even uses Knox in the 48 minutes of play.
Someone receiving playing time isn’t usually a footnote, but Allonzo Trier played Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 12. He finished with 10 points in seven minutes.
Without much more to lose, Fizdale could turn to Trier, another 2018 rookie, for some help against the Sixers. Obviously, something isn’t working with the current unit, and the Arizona product can inject a fresh look into the offense, even if his isolation play is no longer a secret. He could take time from Wayne Ellington, who also recently rejoined the rotation.
Quietly, Julius Randle has consecutive games of shooting at least 50 percent from the field. The same questions still follow, from defense to turnovers, but the Knicks will need anything they can get from their top offseason acquisition.
In this two-game span, he has 17 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. It’s nothing otherworldly, but notable enough to keep the Knicks in games. It’s a matter of him factoring into the closing efforts, though, to offer extra value, if only minimal.