Kevin Knox
(Adam Hunger / AP Photo)

Kevin Knox’s rollercoaster rookie season could be over after the New York Knicks rookie left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

Danny Small

Kevin Knox has been an enigma in his rookie season. He’s experienced highs while suffering through some difficult lows. The Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month from December has struggled for much of the second half of the year.

Fortunately for New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale, Knox began playing more consistent of late. Unfortunately, that progress could be halted by an ankle injury Knox sustained against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“He was playing really good basketball before he got hurt,’’ Fizdale said to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “That’s probably the most frustrating part of the injury.’’

“He’s definitely making strides,’’ Fizdale said Sunday. “He’s our go-to guy — as crazy as that is. With all his ups and downs, he’s really handled this whole thing great. I’m starting to see real progression in how the game’s slowed down for him. He goes with the flow. He doesn’t get too high or low. He keeps plugging away with the same attitude every day and he listens. The kid — when it all slows down — will be a pretty good player.”

Although it sounds crazy to anoint a 19-year-old as the team’s go-to guy, it’s not that crazy in this instance. The Knicks have long been eliminated from playoff contention and are in the process of sussing out who’s real and who’s not.

Down the line, Fizdale hopes Knox can be a closer and an assassin on the offensive end. He might as well give him a shot to do that while he’s a rookie.

Furthermore, Knox was starting to string together a nice stretch of performances. In the four games prior to his injury, Knox averaged 19.3 points on 46 percent shooting from the floor and 44 percent from deep. The Knicks rookie struggled for much of the year with shooting percentages.

The Knicks are hoping to have Knox back in the lineup so he can continue to build his confidence. However, they won’t do anything to jeopardize his long-term health in what has essentially become a lost season.

 

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