NEW YORK CITY – Inactive now for each of the Knicks’ first eight games, Mindaugas Kuzminskas is keeping his hopes up that he’ll eventually crack the team’s rotation.
After missing some preseason action with a calf injury, Kuzminskas, a regular player in last season’s rotation as a rookie, said he’s “felt one-hundred percent ready for the past month,” but he will continue to improve his game while he waits for the team to call his number.
“As soon as the team needs me, I’m ready,” Kuzminskas said before not dressing for Friday’s game against Phoenix. “It’s hard to stay positive, but when the team is winning–and I hope we do win–that helps a lot.”
The 6-foot-9 forward logged around 15 minutes per game last season and had a strong summer for Team Lithuania in the EuroBasket circuit, but he’s unsure of when he’ll crack the rotation for this year’s new-look Knicks.
“You control what you can control,” he said. “We have a lot of coaches who are willing to help me. You’ve got to take some things from situations like these. Right now, I can put more individual work in. I can keep myself in shape to improve what I need to.”Feeling good about his performances in practice, Kuzminskas added that despite the lack of playing time, he feels confident about his chances to have an impact when he returns to the court.
“I’m not that young,” said the 28-year old NBA sophomore. “I’ve been in situations like this before, and I know how to handle it. You’ve got to look forward, not back.”