After playing in only five games before Dec. 12, Luke Kornet finally broke into the rotation for the New York Knicks. He has now played a total of 16 games including 3 starts.
Kornet has outplayed his previous season of play thus far. He is currently shooting at .458 mark from the floor, which is up from .392 last year. Also, he has upped his 3-point percentage from .354 to a very impressive .481.
The three ball is a very encouraging part of his game and makes his style of play completely different from now-benched Enes Kanter.
Kanter has been very public about his benching. With the way Kornet is playing, it does not seem like Kanter will be able to get back into the starting lineup, especially as a Mitchell Robinson heals and comes back to the lineup.
Also, Kornet helps the Knicks adjust to the new NBA. Most teams do not run out a conventional, one dimensional center anymore. Even players like Brooke Lopez are a three point threat.
Besides an uptick in scoring, Kornet’s play has been encouraging in other ways.
He’s a lengthy center at 7-1, 250 lbs, but spreads the court very well. That’s exemplified by his 3-point ability. This opens the middle of the paint for players like Knox to drive to the rim.
Literally just by standing outside the arc, Kornet opens up offense for the Knicks. Defenders have to respect him from deep, so they can’t cheat into the lane to help defend a cutting Knox or Timmy Hardaway Jr. With Kanter, that is not an option.
Also, on defense, Kornet is much more nimble than Kanter and can defend much better. However, he still needs to add some strength as he was bullied a few times by Nikola Jokic.
All in all, Kornet has displayed an improvement offensively and will continue to grow on defense physically and mentally.
Something worth noting is his 3-point percentage from college. At Vanderbilt, he shot .320 over his four years, but his sophomore year he shot .400. That year was also the gear he shot the most threes out of the four seasons. So his 3-point percentage tends to be higher when he gets in a groove and is able to get more shots up.
This means the best thing for Kornet is to continue to be in the lineup and get his shots up.
Featured Image: NY Post