Second-year forward Kevin Knox will start for the Knicks on Sunday against the Celtics with Marcus Morris out, the team announced.
Knox was a DNP-CD on Friday night in the team's loss to the 76ers, and has seen more than 12 minutes in a game just once over the past five games.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale has elected to play veterans like Morris over Knox so far this season. Before Friday's game, Fizdale spoke about Knox's playing time.
"I think Kevin's OK. I think everybody else is making a big deal about me being tough on Kevin. Last year was a different year. This year, we've got some veteran guys who can get the job done and I want Kevin to learn his responsibilities in a different way. And sometimes that's tough love. And Kevin's taking it the right way and he's going about it the right way and he's working the right way."
Knox is averaging just 7.8 points per game this season and will look to capitalize on his playing time against the Celtics on Sunday.
Thanks Fiz here to 'save' Knicks amid outside chaos:
Last year, David Fizdale received an FDNY sweatshirt from a New York City firehouse after he visited with some Knicks players.
He's worn the sweatshirt periodically in the past but has been wearing it fairly regularly before games over the last few weeks.
Fizdale was asked on Sunday about the sweatshirt.
"I just like it. I envy firemen, I think firemen are the epitome of service. While we're all running away from a burning building what do they do? They run in," the coach said. "So I remind myself that while everybody else is going crazy or thinking something is chaotic or something is wrong, I've got to be the person that's constantly running in to it to save us. That's what it's about."
That quote could be taken a number of different ways. There are reasons for outside of observers to see the Knicks' season thus far as chaotic. The team is 4-15 entering Sunday's game against Boston and there has been speculation about Fizdale's job status after team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry held an impromptu press conference after a blowout loss to Cleveland last month. If the Knicks continue to lose, there will probably continue to be outside speculation about Fizdale's job security.
Fiz has full confidence on Knox:
Fizdale believes Knox will eventually improve on the defensive end.
"He's battling and we've had some good talks and he understands why I'm going about it the way I'm going about it and Kevin is going to dig his way out of this thing," the coach said before Sunday's game.
Fizdale also believes that players like Knox can continue to develop even if they aren't getting playing time.
"It's all development. I think we've all gotten so far away from where it used to be when the great developer was the wood, sitting down, the pine is what we used to call it back in the day," he said. "Now I think people only think that development comes when you're playing. Sometimes just watching and having to take a step back away from the game and seeing how the games are being played and what needs to be done, a lot of times, helps a guy get better. I have no doubt that Kevin Knox is going to come back a much better basketball player."