After spending his rookie season with the New York Knicks, Isaiah Hicks returned to the team on a second two-way contract. Throughout the 2018-19 campaign, Ridiculous Upside will follow the big man’s journey through his second season.
The NBA G League Showcase has come and gone and the players had a brief time off for the holidays. Even though it’s the middle of the 2018-19 season, players can cherish moments with their families during the holidays. While Isaiah Hicks doesn’t have holiday traditions outside of Thanksgiving or Christmas, he felt like the most important thing is being surrounded by family during the holiday season.
“I feel like the biggest thing is just being surrounded by family as much as you can,” Hicks said. “That’s the biggest thing. Just being able to see them and just celebrate stuff.”
In the new year, the second-year big man has played in more games with the Westchester Knicks. He has continued to be a focal point in the team’s success, while seeing his game grown exponentially. Hicks looks more comfortable when he’s putting the ball on the floor and finishing at the rim; whether it’s with a layup or powerful dunk.
He has made significant strides in his offensive game since his rookie season and looks more confident with his perimeter shot. When he is able to knock down threes, it makes it more difficult for opposing defenses to contain him whether it’s in the post and on the perimeter. It also opens things up for the team to score in the paint.
“That’s my biggest thing I had to work on was perimeter shooting,” Hicks said. “Now it’s all about knocking down the open shot and really making the defense play honest.”
The Knicks two-way player suited up in all three games of Westchester’s recent homestand where he continued to be productive and played a huge role in the team’s three wins. Those three games were the most consecutive games he played in since December. He has been able to see minutes with Westchester and has been able to get into a rhythm while being efficient with his shots and has been an effective defender.
“It’s very important because of course when I get called up, I’m not going to be playing as many minutes as I am now,” Hicks said. “An injury or something happens, you just got to be ready. I feel like just being in a good rhythm (and) just being able to play all these minutes down here is getting me ready for that.”
Outside of his eight games in Westchester, Hicks has spent some time with New York and suited up in one game against the Detroit Pistons. While he is under a two-way contract, Hicks still feels like he has something to prove.
“Your goal at the end of the day is to play for an NBA team and for a full contract,” Hicks said. “I feel like that I still have something to prove no matter what.”
There are 19 games left in the Knicks’ season and at least six games left in Westchester’s season, not including the postseason. Hicks averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game from the middle of January to end of February.
He had a few of his better three-point shooting performances during that stretch. By having something to prove, Hicks is looking to keep his production and confidence rolling in the final stretch of the season.