New York Knicks: Players with the most to prove after the holidays

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Which New York Knicks have the most to prove after the holidays end?

The New York Knicks, closing on the halfway point of the season, are having another disparaging year. Heck, the draft might even be in their sights.

As the holidays arrive, which Knicks need to show something in the second half, whether the team improves its play or not?

Dennis Smith Jr came in with lots of hype. From his interviews and videos of his summer workouts, speculation was that Smith Jr. was going to win the starting point guard. He changed his shooting form, but it’s resulted in just a 32.8 percent shooting mark from the field and 29 percent on 3-pointers, both of which entering Monday’s game against the Wizards.

Along with that, Smith Jr. is playing fewer than 20 minutes in his last seven games and looks to be the third-string point guard, behind Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton.

This was the centerpiece of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, and he cannot even receive consistent playing time. Smith Jr. has really struggled, looking lost on offense and lacking confidence in his shot. Plus, trade rumors have recently arisen, putting his future with the team in doubt. He clearly needs to have a better second half of the season, or he may never reach his potential and become another lottery pick bust.

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Kevin Knox another promising young player has regressed and been in the Fizdale doghouse for most of the season. Coming into the year Knox was one of the players to watch, hoping for an improvement in his game as he started year two. Instead, the Kentucky product has struggled to find his footing at times

As of Dec. 23, Knox has averaged 8.1 points and 35 percent from the 3-point line on 20 minutes per night. It is tougher for him to get playing time as the Knicks are deep at the wing position, but RJ Barrett already looks like the better player of the two even though he is a rookie. Knox may not get 30-34 minutes a night but you want to see more in the time that he is out there.

With the Knicks potentially trading some of their veterans as we enter trade season, Knox should get more playing time. It already has started under Coach Miller playing 22, 24, 21 and 24 minutes in the last four games, as of Dec. 23, respectively and scoring in double figures in those games.

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Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr have a lot to prove as we enter the second half of the season, or they could be on their way out and potentially be become busts.