New Knicks wing Mario Hezonja officially has received that directive from coach David Fizdale.
“I wish he’d be a little more greedy about letting the 3-ball go, which I’m going to be hammering on him,” Fizdale said after practice Sunday. “When he’s open, he’s a big guard, let that thing fly.”
David Fizdale has coached zero games for New York and he’s already the best coach in Knicks history solely for telling Mario Hezonja to go off and the end result will be nothing short of an undefeated season and an NBA title, probably.
Hezonja is a champion playing in Europe and was the MVP of an under-16 FIBA league. He was a lottery pick in the same 2015 with his teammates Kristaps Porzingis and Emmanuel Mudiay but failed to make a major impact in Orlando.
But Orlando also let Victor Oladipo go and we all know what Oladipo transformed into last season. He almost beat LeBron James in the first round of the playoffs. It’s safe to say that Orlando isn’t known for their fantastic player development.
Hezonja is a 6’8 potential superstar that can shoot from anywhere on the court and has the ability to get to the basket by taking his defender off the dribble whenever he wants.
Players that can get their own shot off are commodities in this league. Regardless of what you feel about Michael Beasley, if he wasn’t on the Knicks last season creating his own scoring opportunities, the Knicks lose by a million every single night.
In the 30 games that Mario Hezonja started for the Magic last season, he averaged 14 points, 5.6 rebounds, almost two 3-pointers a game while shooting 46% from the field, 37% from behind the arc and 83% from the free throw line.
If you allow me to break out some advanced stats for a second, Hezonja had a true shooting percentage of 57.1% in his 30 starts last year. For comparison’s sake, that 57.1% is higher than every Knicks perimeter player last season.
Giving Super Mario the green light and dropping him in the middle of a Kristaps Porzingis-less team instantly makes him the best player in a Knicks jersey every time he checks into the game. It’s going to be pretty chill when he wins the MVP award from LeBron next season.
Thanks for reading. Tweet to @TheLesterLee if you think Mario Hezonja is going to be an MVP candidate this season. Also, go ahead and throw Deadseriousness a Like on Facebook so that I can keep the lights on around here at HQ.