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Knicks HC David Fizdale emphaisizing defense, rebounding on Kevin Knox

David Fizdale, Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox was drafted ninth by the New York Knicks this past offseason for his offensive pedigree. Everyone knew that coming into the league that he was going to be able to get baskets with consistency. However, his defensive skills and his IQ needed some work and experience.

He ranks 463rd out of 464 players in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus. The Knicks have given up 7.1 more points with him on the floor than off it, according to Cleaning the Glass, which is among the worst at his position. Statistically, his impact is terrible. He is one of the worst players in the league. For this to change, Knox needs lots of work to translate his game to winning basketball.

Knox is super lengthy. He’s 6-9 with a nearly 7-foot wingspan. And yet he can’t seem to buy a rebound. His head coach David Fizdale has noticed these struggles and has personally taken him under his wing.

Fizdale told the Athletic:

“I’m really looking at his defense and his rebounding. Those are the other areas that I’m really hammering him on. The scoring — I’m telling you this kid is just going to get better and better at the scoring because he’s a natural at that. What we’re really harping on with him is defending and rebounding.”

Knox is averaging 12.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.9 assists while shooting 37.6 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from deep. He’s slowly but surely improving in his rookie campaign.

The Knicks are 9-27 and currently sit 14th in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They will face off against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City this upcoming Saturday.