How Tom Thibodeau can help unlock New York Knicks Kevin Knox.
Kevin Knox, by almost all standards, did not have the sophomore season that he or the New York Knicks expected. Knox’s stats decreased almost across the board from his rookie campaign. After starting 57 games as a rookie, most of them as the Knicks’ stretch four, Knox mostly came off the bench due to the Marcus Morris and Julius Randle free agent acquisitions.
It’s fair to say the sophomore had a difficult transition adjusting to both reserve minutes and increased expectations to win games. He went from defending 4s to defending 3s. The fluctuating minutes only hurt his offensive performance, stymied his defensive effort, and dampened his confidence.
With an extended offseason due to COVID-19, Knox has the time to not only look back at his struggling moments, but also establish confidence in his abilities as a basketball player.
His athleticism – 6’7 height (6’9 with shoes) and 6’11 wingspan – and shooting form led him to Kentucky under the tutelage of John Calipari. Those factors, along with his age, helped him become a consensus lottery pick. It was long known that Knox required patience and development to become the full form version of himself. Why fans continue to remain disappointed is still a mystery.
While coach Tom Thibodeau’s focal points might be Mitchell Robinson & RJ Barrett – as mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Thibs Files – it’s important not to underscore the importance of developing Kevin Knox. The Kenny Payne hire certainly reinforces Knox’s importance to the franchise. Knox’s development comes with the combination of consistent role and diligent coaching. If given the opportunity, Knox has the capabilities of becoming a rotation player in the NBA.
Here are 3 specific goals that Tom Thibodeau should set to achieve with Kevin Knox.