Tim Hardaway Jr. discusses Caris LeVert’s game-winning basket that sent the Brooklyn Nets past the New York Knicks. P
Chris Iseman, Staff Writer, @chrisiseman
NEW YORK — Kevin Knox continued to take shots.
The Knicks rookie struggled to knock them down in preseason and in the regular-season opener, but Knox kept shooting. He never completely lost his confidence. Encouraged by coach David Fizdale, Knox believed that they would start to fall eventually.
They did on Friday night.
The forward scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-4 from the perimeter, in the Knicks’ 107-105 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Knox also collected six rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.
“I just want to just come in and make sure I made shots,” Knox said. “I’ve been working a lot, getting a lot of shots up so I can be able to hit those big time shots. My teammates found me and I did a good job knocking them down.”
Knox’s shots weren’t insignificant, either.
He drained a three-pointer that put the Knicks up, 74-69, with 2:23 remaining in the third.
Then with 4:21 remaining in the fourth, Knox hit a game-tying three from the right wing on a feed from Trey Burke.
“I love the kid,” said center Enes Kanter, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds. “He’s one of the most talented players in this room. And I think he’s getting better and better. I told, ‘Hey, shoot it with confidence. Go get the rebound if you miss it.’ Every time he touches the ball, the number one thing is attack the basket. And I think defensively he’s getting better and better.”
Knox looked far more comfortable on offense than he did on Wednesday night against the Hawks, when he had 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting, just 1-of-5 from three-point range.
“I got some wide-open looks the last few games,” Knox said. “Today I got some good looks. The difference is I was making them tonight. So like I said just keep getting up shots, keep getting in the gym, keep putting up extra shots, putting in the extra work so I can keep knocking those shots down.”
This is all part of the process for Knox: Going through the ups and downs of his rookie season.
Sometimes they come within moments of each other.
Right after he hit the game-tying three-pointer, Fizdale got on Knox at the start of a Nets timeout because of a defensive lapse Knox committed.
“We had some defensive mistakes, defensive mishaps, the whole team did,” Knox said. “And I had one right before I hit that three that could have changed the game because we could have gotten a stop there.”
Overall, Knox played a solid game.
It was a step in the right direction. Knox has to continued to build on it.
“He was better,” Fizdale said. “I just want him to keep building his confidence, keep competing on a high level. I’m still on him tough about his defense because I see more there that he can do. All I want him to do is have fun and keep getting more confidence.”