Kevin Knox's rookie season has came and went, and though the numbers may not be what he wanted to see at the end of it, he still showed flashes of that first-round pick type of talent.
Now it's all about improving off that rookie year, and turning those flashes into consistent performance. Speaking at the Knicks Media Day on Monday in Tarrytown, NY, Knox said that he was watching tons of film this summer to see what he can improve on.
"I think with this first season going by, I think this summer I had some film I could really watch," he told reporters. "Going into last year, I had no film really on myself, but this year I could really watch and see where I can grow, get better. Obviously have to get better at the defensive end and that' something that me, Fiz, and a lot of coaches have been working on this summer. Being more consistent, more efficient on the floor. Knocking down open shots."
Hitting his shots is what Knox definitely wants to do in his sophomore campaign. Knox shot 37 percent overall and 34.3 percent from three-point land -- lower totals than expected from a player that came out of Kentucky with a pure jumper.
Looking at that film, he saw a common theme among those shots that he missed.
"I just took a lot of tough 2's, a lot of contested [and] bad shots that I took last year that I'm going to try to eliminate out of my game this year," he said. "I think I was forced to take a lot of bad shots late in the shot clock, bad shot selection."
Studying himself wasn't the only thing Knox was doing in his first NBA offseason. He was also in the weight room, as he was noticeably filled out during his presser. Knox said "just the physicality of the game" had him want to get his muscle up to have more body control when he got bumped around in the paint.
So, as Knox comes in improved both physically and mentally, he also has some new teammates to bond with before the start of the season. When asked about the new group in the locker room, Knox immediately smiled which is always a good thing.
He likes this new Knicks group, and says the vibe around them right now feels completely different than last season.
"It's a totally different feel. It's more electric this year," he said. "We just good more spirit in the locker room, on the court. Our veterans this year are very more talkative, very more supportive of us. Last year, we had some great vets on our team, but I think this year we have a lot more and guys have been playing in the league a little bit more. It's definitely a different atmosphere, different energy on the court and in the locker room.
"Once we get the games started, our chemistry is going to get better."
Among those new faces is another top first-round pick in RJ Barrett, who will also be hit with high expectations like Knox did last season. Being a "very calm, cool and collected person," as Knox described him, Barrett shouldn't have any issues with the responsibility of playing in New York.
Barrett, along with the other youngsters on the roster, will be tasked with resurrecting a team that won a league-worst 17 wins last season. But Knox is confident everyone -- from the guys on the team last season to the new additions -- have what it takes to shock some people.
"I think we're going to have a lot better season this year," he said. "Last year, it was a rough season, but I think us young players as the season went on we grew a lot. Got more confident, more comfortable on the court. I think we can carry that over to this season."