BOSTON — Rookies Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson are not starters. However they have been contributors Wednesday night time.
Knox had one among his finest video games as a rookie within the Knicks’ 117-109 victory over the Celtics, scoring 11 factors with 9 rebounds and hitting back-to-back 3-pointers within the fourth quarter that saved Boston at bay. Knox shot 3-of-5 from the sector and attacked the basket — one thing he hadn’t carried out a lot of just lately.
Robinson, who misplaced his beginning job to Enes Kanter on Tuesday, was 4-of-Four from the sector and notched six blocks in 16 minutes. The Knicks’ bench total shot 64 %.
Coach David Fizdale pulled Robinson from the beginning lineup to maintain him out of foul hassle and he solely picked up 4 with a few late infractions.
Knox hopes he’ll crack the beginning lineup on a everlasting foundation quickly, however mentioned he doesn’t imagine his sport is affected by coming off the bench. Fizdale continued to begin struggling Mario Hezonja at small ahead over the prized lottery choose for the second straight sport. Hezonja was once more a non-factor (1-of-7 from the sector, three factors).
Fizdale saved the identical beginning lineup that battled the Blazers to the ultimate 10 seconds Tuesday night time — a frontline of Kanter, Noah Vonleh and Hezonja.
Knox, 19, began simply two video games this season — Friday in New Orleans and Sunday in Orlando — earlier than Fizdale pulled the plug.
“That’s everybody’s purpose, to be a everlasting starter,’’ Knox instructed The Publish earlier than dealing with the Celtics, “Everybody has been out and in of the beginning lineup however Tim [Hardaway Jr.]. All people nonetheless is combating for jobs to make it their everlasting spot. That’s one thing you bought to combat and work laborious for.’’
Fizdale has used six totally different beginning lineups. Knox began all 5 preseason video games after which didn’t make the lineup on opening night time in a shock.
“There’s loads of rookies who don’t begin,’’ mentioned Knox, who’s taking pictures 33 % and averaging 8.Three factors. “However I’ve an important alternative right here and I’m going to play laborious for my teammates whether or not coming off the bench or beginning.’’
After his spectacular summer season league in July, the Knicks have been closely advertising Knox, together with his No. Eight jersey with the sale of season-ticket plans. He figured to be the face of the franchise till Kristaps Porzingis returned.
“There’s execs and cons coming off the bench,’’ Knox mentioned. “Whenever you come off the bench you get to see the sport for an excellent jiffy and simply to how the sport is being performed. Then you definitely begin the sport, you begin contemporary with loads of vitality. There’s execs and cons. However it doesn’t matter if I’m coming off the bench or beginning, it shouldn’t impact the way in which I play.’’
A Knox regression wouldn’t mirror effectively on Fizdale, who seems to be throwing paint on the wall at this stage in configuring new beginning lineups.
Fizdale mentioned in a few weeks he ought to have a beginning lineup set and finish the fixed flux.
“We’ve got so many younger guys and we’re looking for out strengths and tendencies and the struggling that comes with it since you’re doing that while you’re shedding, figuring it out,’’ Fizdale mentioned. “We’re making an attempt to get to know these guys. Hopefully within the subsequent week or two, we’ll begin to get to know them higher and settle in and perhaps that may assist us.”
Courtney Lee (neck), who has but to play, mentioned he could also be want only one extra apply and maybe may very well be cleared for Sunday in Memphis.