Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Some notes from the Knicks' win over the Pistons...
Kevin Knox had two blocks against Detroit, tangible evidence of what Mike Miller has been talking about for weeks: the young Knick is improving on the defensive end.
Frank Ntilikina had two steals and helped spearhead a strong defensive effort against the Pistons on Sunday.
But neither Ntilikina nor Knox has found much success on offense this season. That's led to criticism from some fans/analysts of the Knicks' decision to draft both players.
Miller believes that both Ntilikina (21) and Knox (20) will eventually be able to score consistently in the NBA.
"I've got all the confidence that it will (happen)," Miller said Sunday. "I think it's not something (that you) put all this time and all of the sudden it just happens. It's going to start coming together."
The Knicks don't have a history of showing patience with young prospects. They haven't signed a first-round draft pick to a second contract in the last 20 years. Will that change under new president Leon Rose?
Rose is using the rest of the season to evaluate all facets of the organization -- players, coaches, executives, scouts.
He probably liked what he saw from Knox and Ntilikina on Sunday.
Ntilikina was aggressive on offense, beating his defender off the dribble several times and getting into the paint. Knox hit three of his six shot attempts in 19 minutes.
People around the Knicks have said that Ntilikina and Knox work diligently on improving. Miller echoed that sentiment on Sunday and said that he's confident that the results will show on the court, consistently, for both players.
"We're seeing the progress. I don't think it's one of those things where one game you just break through. It's over a period of time," he said.
Elfrid Payton excelled against Detroit, scoring 16 points and handing out six assists. In his last three games, Payton is averaging 18 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.0 assists. He helped the Knicks limit Detroit to 36 percent shooting.
New York bounced back from a poor defensive effort against Oklahoma City on Friday. Bobby Portis said the Knicks had one of their best practices of the season on Saturday and it carried over against the Pistons.
Mitchell Robinson had 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks off the bench. He finished an alley-oop from Payton that the point guard threw from just inside halfcourt. Robinson and Knox both blocked Pistons' 3-point attempts. Miller said before the game that the Knicks had been allowing too many 3-pointers lately. His goal is for the club to reduce its opponent's made threes to 11, which is how many Detroit converted Sunday.
"Once we get to 11 and we're consistent then we'll try to cut it a little bit more," he said.
The Knicks entered play Sunday allowing 13.3 3-pointers per game, the third highest total in the league.