LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends against Kevin Knox II #20 of the New York Knicks during the first half of a game at Staples Center on January 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Kevin Knox still possesses confidence in his shooting stroke despite his slump in year two with the New York Knicks.

Danny Small

TARRYTOWN, NY—The New York Knicks are surging, having won four of their last five games. Despite their recent success, Kevin Knox is still struggling to find his shooting stroke. The second-year forward is averaging 6.8 points on 36.7% shooting from the field and 32.6% from three. Although he’s scuffling, Knox remains confident in his shot.

“It’s my whole game, not just shooting. I’ve missed a lot of open shots in the game that I know I can make, that I’ve made in the past. Like I’ve said, I’ve just got to get consistent with it,” Knox told reporters at practice on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s all muscle memory. A lot of the greatest shooters of all time have the same mechanics, same mindset, just knowing it’s going to go in.

“I know I’m a good shooter. I think a lot of people know I can really shoot the ball. I just need to get locked in and get mentally prepared. Getting low when the ball is coming to me and just knocking it down.”

Knox, 20, mentions “some small mechanical things” he’s caught on film, but he’s focused on making sure he’s getting lower on his shot more than anything else right now. While it’s easy to write off the 6-foot-7 forward right now, Knox is far too young to label a bust.

He wasn’t drafted with the “project” label in the same way that Frank Ntilikina was the year before him. But anytime a team selects an 18-year-old in June, long-term patience is required.

Allowing Knox to play through his mistakes is going to be one of the challenges for interim head coach Mike Miller for the rest of the season. As a second-year lottery pick, the Knicks are going to have to prioritize his development at some point. His minutes have been trending downward all season.

It’s unlikely that Knox goes down to the G League for increased minutes, but if he can start knocking down those open looks he talks about, he’ll make it hard for Miller to keep him glued to the bench.

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