One strange turn for the Knicks in Friday night’s 101-95 loss to Philadelphia was that Kevin Knox continued to slide down the depth chart.
After sitting out the second half of two of the previous four games (the only exceptions were when RJ Barrett did not play and when the Knicks emptied the bench in a blowout loss in Toronto), Knox took a complete DNP-coach’s decision for the first time in his career.
Knox said coach David Fizdale didn’t speak to him about it before the game.
“It was just kind of on the fly,” Knox said. “That’s the coach’s decision. I’ve got to respect it. I’m not mad. I’ll continue to work, continue to get better. When my name is called, I’ll be ready. It’s a little bit [frustrating], but I’m a very positive person.”
“By no means is Kevin buried,” Fizdale said. “He’s going to have to fight his way out of it. I got a lot of confidence that he will.”
Knox said he understands that he has been on a shorter leash. He wouldn’t get into what the decision means in the big picture.
Said Knox, “I’m just going to get back in the gym tomorrow and continue to work, continue to get better, watch my film, continue to watch the guys on the court, so when I do get back on the court, I can be able to perform at a high level.’’
The last time the Knicks and 76ers played, the highlight of Philadelphia’s win was the first three-point field goal of Ben Simmons’ career.
“We were just teasing Mitchell [Robinson] about it,” Fizdale said before the game. “Respect everyone. You respect everyone. It was on the film. I told them, I don’t care if he’s made a three or not. You’ve still got to be close enough to challenge that three where he feels you. And Mitchell wasn’t totally off of him. It’s just that I don’t think he felt that closeout. It was just a matter of time before he starts shooting threes, and oh, boy, if he starts making threes, the rest of this league better look out.”