Rockets’ Brandon Knight hopes playing time prepared him to step up with Chris Paul out

Rockets guard Brandon Knight has generally struggled, as expected, in his five games since returning from ACL surgery. But with Chris Paul out with a strained hamstring, Knight hoped that the time he has gotten, averaging 5.4 minutes in his first four games before playing nearly 18 on Thursday in the game Paul went out, would help him step in if needed.

“I definitely have some time over the last couple games to get in, get my feet wet and kind of get a feel for what we’re doing,” Knight said. “(Thursday) was the first time I played some extended minutes. It’s still going to get in and try to give the team what we need and still try to be aggressive, just try to help the team as much as we can.”

Knight is 3 of 16 since he was cleared to play. He has played off the ball in a backcourt with either James Harden or Chris Paul, but with Paul out, could work as a point guard for the first time since his return.

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“That’ll be up to coach,” Knight said. “It’s still very, very early on for me. Whatever we need me to do, I’m willing to do.”

Even before Paul’s injury, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni cautioned against expecting too much from Knight in his first weeks back.

“You can’t expect him to not play for a year-and-a-half and be up to his standards,” D’Antoni said.

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