Knicks coach David Fizdale says he wants Kevin Knox to start taking his effort level up a notch.
The 19-year-old rookie is shooting just 33 percent from the field through his first 10 games. But it's the fire in Knox's game that Fizdale pointed to as an area of needed improvement.
The coach described Knox's energy level as "up and down" on Monday, telling the New York Post that the rookie is "still learning how to consistently play at a high motor.
"But you know that's something you can work on and build on and harp on and really try to push him. That's what we're doing. Showing a lot of film to him. Opportunities where he could've cut, ran harder, did something with athleticism.
"Because that's the biggest thing that I'm trying to do is let his body go and do what he can naturally do and have confidence in that," he added. "But those take reps, too."
Knox couldn't keep up with Magic forward Aaron Gordon in the Knicks' 131-117 loss in Orlando Sunday. Knox tallied just four points on 2-of-8 shooting while Gordon scored 31, with 20 of them coming in the first quarter. Knox is averaging 8.9 points per game this season.
His spark came into question before the Knicks drafted him 9th overall out of Kentucky in June.
"That's something I'm working on," Knox said, per the Post. "A lot of people told me that coming out of college, but that's not something that's going to fix overnight. I have to get in shape, get conditioning, compete every day in practice. I think most of it is just competing offensively and defensively.
"But there's games when my motor is good, I just got to get it consistent and play at a high level."