ORLANDO, Fla. – This was a beginner role change and the way it was actually expected to be. In one night, Mitchell Robinson looked like another round of project center, and Kevin Knox played as a lottery pick.
Knox, with his parents, grandparents and friends at hand after crossing from Tampa as good as he ever has – a clear, running machine versus the magic of Knicks' 114-100 tabs Wednesday night.
Knox finished 21 points, making 7-of-13 shots, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Knox estimated about 30 of his family and friends were on hand, including a Tampa church basketball club, his grandmother supervising.
A bulb has gone inside Knox who has had many up and down in his rookie years.
"After the All-Star break, I sat down with Scott Perry and our coaches, and that was one of the things they wanted me to do in the second half of the season ̵
Meanwhile, although Mario Hezonja made a fantastic return to his former team, Knicks got a letdown defensive performance from shotblocks Robinson as they fell to 15-63 with four games left. The Knicks must win at least two games to avoid setting a record for the worst brand in franchise history.
Magic Center Nikola Vucevic took care of business against Robinson, who ended with a block, but was credited with another after the game, changing a steal to a rejection. The statistical change extended its range of games by two blocks or more to 26 – which is the second-longest strike for a rookie after David Robinson.
But Knicks & # 39; Robinson were out of position much of the night on switches. Vucevic scored 17 first half points and ended with 29. While Vucevic is always celebrating Knicks, he seemed to have a special pleasure in musing against the thin Robinson who ended with 12 points and nine rebounds.
"He's been in the league for a moment, then he's skilled," Robinson said. "He knows how to play around a shotblock so I'm giving him credit. He has movements. I took the challenge. & # 39; & # 39;
In the last 30 seconds of the first half, Vucevic put a character set for his excursion. Robinson was knocked out of the dribble by Wes Iwundu when he came out to help. Although the layup was missing, Vucevic stood up for a light retreat with Robinson out of the game.
With two seconds left in half, Robinson arrived late when Vucevic sank a 3-point to put Orlando up 58-45 half-time.
Point guard Billy Garrett Jr., signed Tuesday out of the G-League to help a guard-roster roster, sank his first NBA shot – one runs in the field – and ended with four points (2-for-4) in 10 minutes in his debut.
Before the match, Garrett called it "a dream come true" after two seasons with Westchester Knicks, where he is the club's leading scorer.
Knicks coach David Fizdale said it is possible Dennis Smith Jr. (back) and Kadeem Allen (concussion) could miss the rest of the season.