Mario Hezonja could have a lot on his shoulders this season
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale is bringing a new attitude and plan to the big apple and it looks like he’ll be using his players in ways that are outside of the box.
Marip Hezonja, who signed with the Knicks as a free agent this summer after spending the first few years of his career with the Orlando Magic, says he could be used as a point forward.
“I was with [our] assistant coaches a lot, but they all have [Fizdale]’s voice. We’re doing what he wants me to do on the court. It’s a different role right now,” Hezonja revealed at media day this week, via Sports Daily. “I’m talking [about] the point forward role: getting to the paint, facilitating for other guys, finding them, and being a leader. At the end of the day, help my teammates. I’m seeing situations where I can be really vocal here and help other guys, which I’m more than happy to do.”
Hezonja is a player that can spread the floor and score, but will Fizdale also have him bring the ball up the court? It looks like it.
The good news is that point guards Emanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina have shown that can play well even if they’re off the ball, so having Hezonja bring it up the floor could be something we see this season.
It’s really a shame things didn’t work out for Hezonja in Orlando after being taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Of course the Magic can only blame themselves after failing to start and give him more minutes after he declined his contract option.
If someone can get the most out of Hezonja, it is Fizdale, who can use his size to create mismatches.
While we can’t expect much from the Knicks when it comes to winning games this season, it will be interesting to see how Hezonja and the rest of the team gel together going forward.
Paul has been a professional writer since 2010 and covered the NFL for several years as a credentialed media member. Some of his work has been linked to companies like FOX Sports, MSN, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Forbes and Deadspin. He’s also appeared on sports talk radio shows from around the United States.