Kevin Knox
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Kevin Knox is facing high expectations and the rookie New York Knick is focusing on his defense and winning this summer.

Kevin Knox will play his first game for the New York Knicks at the Las Vegas Summer League. Granted, it’s not the real thing. But it’s an opportunity for the rookie to get better.

One of the biggest question marks surrounding Knox’s game is his ability to defend consistently. He hopes to answer some of those questions in Vegas. Knox told Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“I’m ready to come out and show people I’m able to play defense,’’ Knox said Tuesday “It’s a new season, a new year, so I’m really looking forward to coming out there and be physical on defense, get stops. Like Coach Fiz says: Our offense is going to come from our defense. If we get stops and run in transition, that’s kind of how we’re going to play.”

Knox is talented enough to put things together on offense. Whether or not he struggles on offense this summer should not be a huge deal. Whether or not he shows a commitment to defense is a much bigger deal.

Knox definitely knows how to say the right things. Not only did he talk up his focus on defense, he’s also focused on winning. Despite the relatively meaningless summer league games, Knox wants to bring his team to the championship. He told Berman:

“I just want to win,’’ Knox said. “That’s all I care about. I want to make it to the championship. That makes everyone on the team look better. I’m not worried about personal stats. It’s summer league. I’m just trying to win and get a feel for the game and a feel for my teammates.”

Heading into summer league, Knox is making defense and winning his main focus. That should endear him to the New York faithful and more importantly, it should endear him to David Fizdale.

The Knicks play their first summer league game on Saturday, July 7. It’s not exactly the same thing as playing at Madison Square Garden. But the summer league should give the younger guys on the team the chance to develop some chemistry.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.