Brandon Jennings was heavily favored to become the Knicks six man this season, even Phil Jackson chimed in told Jennings to go for six-man of the year. However, something strange happened this season as Kyle O’Quinn has emerged as the first player off the Knicks bench. Hornacek has used his bench sporadically this season yet O’Quinn remains a fixture. Something coach Fisher was hesitant to do last year, as O’Quinn put up career lows in Feild Goal Attempts ( 4.2) Feild Goal % (47%). Yet O’Quinn did not give up, he used to offseason to expand his game a loose some weight.
“I’M EXCITED ABOUT EVERY YEAR, BUT THIS YEAR IT LOOKS SO CLEAR. A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL PUT US IN THERE. IT’LL BE A DIFFERENT ELEMENT IN TRAINING CAMP INSTEAD OF BEING A STARTUP TRYING TO SHOCK THE WORLD. WE MADE A LOT OF CHANGES AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE PLAYOFFS, BUT YOU GOT TO PUT THE WORK IN.” -Kyle O’Quinn via NY Post
“TRYING TO TRIM DOWN A LITTLE BIT, I’M TRYING TO STAY IN THE BEST KYLE FORM I CAN BE… IT JUST CAME TO ME, THE YOGA IDEA. SWITCH IT UP A LITTLE BIT IN THE OFFSEASON.” -Kyle O’Quinn via NY Post
The weight loss and focused mindset have lead to a much improved season, O’Quinn is averaging a career-high 6.4 points, 5.7 rebounds as well as 56% from the field. It’s no surprise that the Knicks are off to a good start (16-14) the biggest surprise is the improved play of O’Quinn.
If the Knicks hope to continue their playoff push they will need Kyle to anchor the second unit. If Knicks fans get their wish O’Quinn may very well push his way into the starting lineup. Until then Knicks fans will just have to do with O’Quinn becoming the Knicks six man.