Knicks coach David Fizdale thinks Noah Vonleh needs to keep things simple
When the Knicks traded away Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, the hope was for some of their younger players–like Noah Vonleh–to experience some growth and continue to improve.
The 23-year-old out of Indiana University has posted a solid per-36 of 11.5 points and 11.3 rebounds, and has at times looked like a fixture in New York’s frontcourt.
However, head coach David Fizdale has gone with Luke Kornet in the starting lineup alongside the recently acquired DeAndre Jordan as Vonleh’s own minutes have begun to dwindle.
Fizdale explained that Vonleh’s usage must be handled in accordance with his inexperience, because of his new role as a key player in New York’s future. As he told Steve Popper of Newsday:
‘I want him to keep working to get better, get back to giving us those consistent minutes,’ Fizdale said. ‘They’ve all gone through it. This is the first time Noah’s ever been asked to do so much. He hit his own wall a little there. In Atlanta [in the last game], he helped us win that game. He’s still going to play major minutes for us. Luke has been giving us a real boost in that starting unit just from the standpoint of spacing and length at the rim. So I think he’s going to be fine. It’s a matter of getting back to not overthinking the game, keeping it simple.’
While Fizdale has expressed faith in Vonleh, it is worth wondering what the Knicks will make of their frontcourt situation moving forward.
Jordan will be allowed to walk in free agency, but Vonleh is also unrestricted in the offseason while Kornet is a restricted free agent.