Doug McDermott feels like good fit with the New York Knicks, whether he's starting or not

Oct 06, 2017 | by The Associated Press

The small forward job is up for grabs with the New York Knicks, but former Creighton star Doug McDermott might be getting the first crack at it.

McDermott was in the starting lineup Tuesday night when the Knicks played their NBA preseason opener against Brooklyn, and produced nine points in 17 minutes at Madison Square Garden. New York plays at Washington on Friday night.

According to the New York Post, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek plans to start different lineups in the first three preseason games. The spot that McDermott filled Tuesday night was that of longtime New York star Carmelo Anthony, who headed to Oklahoma City in the trade that brought McDermott to the Knicks.

“It’s tough for anyone to follow in [Anthony’s footsteps] but to hear your name called in the Garden in the starting lineup was a dream come true,’’ McDermott said. “But it’s not about starting. I’ll be fine either way. I know I can provide shooting and play hard every night.’’

Enes Kanter followed McDermott from Oklahoma City to New York and said simply: "If you find him, he'll make shots." McDermott was 1 of 2 on 3-point attempts against Brooklyn.

"In practice, I’m trying to pass to him all the way on the other end because I know he’s going to make it," Kanter said. "I love playing with Doug — nice locker-room guy. [The fans] should be really excited about him.

“He’s probably the top 3-point shooter in the league. When I say it, I believe it. He’ll show himself, especially in this big market.’’

The small forward spot is not yet settled, with the Knicks also having veteran Michael Beasley and being able to look at Courtney Lee in smaller lineups. But McDermott, 25, feels as if he's landed in a good spot starting his fourth NBA season.

“Coach Hornacek runs some great stuff," he said. "We got some really good young players. I fit that mold and can grow with them. It’s one of the teams you dream of playing on.’’

McDermott was the guest for a recent "Where I Come From" podcast with Dirk Chatelain of The World-Herald.