CHARLOTTE — Evan Fournier was the hero of the Knicks’ opening night win over Boston, scoring 32 points in his first game with the team. But since that night, he entered Friday averaging just 12.2 points per game and shooting 39.5% shooting, hardly what the Knicks were hoping for when they made him the prize of their free-agent class.
“I think it’s a perfect reflection of our starting unit,” Fournier said. “We started really well, shooting the ball well, sharing the ball, etcetera. Now it’s not as good. So are we playing not as well because we are missing shots or are we missing shots because we aren’t sharing the ball. It’s always that question that you’ve got to ask yourself. In my opinion it’s because we aren’t getting good shots and we aren’t working the defense well enough.”
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau believes that the offense has created shots and when they don’t fall the team is resorting to hero ball.
“I think it’s twofold because I think there really has been good ball movement, and then we missed some good shots,” Thibodeau said. “And then there’s oftentimes a tendency when the things aren’t going well the intent is good in terms of there’s a will to try to get us out of whatever we’re facing. And the tendency to go one-on-one at that point and that’s what we have to fight. We have to make sure we’re sharing the ball and if we’re getting the right shots, we’re not going to make every one of them, just keep sharing the ball.”
Noel out again
Nerlens Noel sat out his second straight game with a right knee injury. After missing all of the preseason and the first seven games of the regular season with a left knee injury, he played just four games before suffering a sprained right knee in Philadelphia, which now has him sidelined for the last two games.
“Day to day,” Thibodeau said. “He’s doing more. He did some in the shootaround today. So it’s day to day, same thing. So we’ll see how he is tomorrow. The medical people are saying it’s day to day. I go by what he says and how he feels and how he’s doing. Because he has to trust his body and so obviously we want him out there, but he has to be healthy.”