Kevin Knox knows that "the numbers are not there," so he tries to survey them from a largely statistically unproductive second season in the NBA.
The last 27 games after the All-Star break begin on Friday evening for the Knicks against the Pacers in the garden. Knox, the team's lottery choice for 2018, hopes to finally earn more playing time due to improvements to his all-round game he's been working on for the past few weeks, as interim coach Mike Miller quotes.
Knox only scored an average of 6.8 points and 18.3 minutes per game this season, compared to 12.8 points and 28.8 minutes per rookie appearance after the Knicks nominated him from Kentucky for ninth overall.
"It's something I hope I don't know about the coaches and how the minutes will go, but I want to," said Knox after training in Tarrytown on Thursday. “I just go out when I play 10 minutes, when I play 25, 30, I just go out and leave everything defensively and offensively on the floor. I'm really just trying to play hard on both sides of the court.
"It really only shows my complete package. I think in the second half of the season I really want to show that I am not a shooter and can play for others."
Miller acknowledged that the second-year striker has "done some things we think are really good signs" in the past few weeks, including "two of his better, more effective games he played this season" at both ends of the streak square.
"It's not really about scoring and shooting, and that's what we talked to him about. Being a guy who makes people better on the floor with the things you do. There are so many options like he can influence it, "said Miller." If you have a team, look for people who improve other people and do things. … We saw how he did that and I think that's a big step for him and his maturity. "
The 20-year-old Knox shoots only 36.8 percent from the ground for the season – and 32.6 percent from the 3-point range. But Miller has seen improvements in other areas, such as the defensive positioning of the 6-foot 7-Knox and the use of its length to interfere with fast lanes and competition shots.
"I only see more games in which he influences the game, while young people see the offense as a way to influence it, but he does it in many different ways," said Miller. "We urge him to ricochet off more, be more defensive, get more distractions, and just always be in the right place." … And use the offensive system to take high quality pictures and then what he can do himself.
"There are a lot of things in there and we see how things grow there. Only now are we going to bring these games to the game where it's okay, they're two really good ones, but let's do it three, four, five [games], ' "
Knox has little time this season to show that he should still be seen as a key piece for the future of the Knicks, along with great second-year man Mitchell Robinson and rookie guard RJ Barrett.
"I had a great all-star breakdown in Florida, did a really good job, and spent some time with my family," said Knox. "Let me really distract you from basketball [after] the last first half of the season and really ready for this second half. I am very excited, I think we will have a really good second half of the season, both team and personally. I was just very excited to go back to New York and play ball again. "