Novak says Knicks know sacrifice

During the course of the season, key role players like Steve Novak and Ronnie Brewer have seen their minutes decrease at times.

Then there are guys like James White and Chris Copeland, who have gone from starting one night to riding the bench for a few games in a row. In addition, premier scorers J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire have accepted coming off the bench.

Listen to the complete interview:

PlayBut through all of the various individual ups and downs, the Knicks (31-16) have remained together through sacrifice. Novak talked about that on Thursday afternoon as a guest on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show."

"I think from the start of the season, before we even got to training camp, we knew that we were going to have a team that was deep," he said. "I think that's one of our biggest advantages; that's why we're sitting where we are right now.

"We, as a group, understand that there are going to be times that some guys play a ton and some guys maybe don't, but we're not a group that's six, seven, eight free agents vying for shots and fighting over that stuff. We're a group that understands that."

Though Novak is a rhythm player with his 3-point shooting, he said the fluctuations in playing time haven't affected him. He said the key is to be always prepared.

"I pride myself on being ready as soon as I get in there," he said. "I think you watch a guy like J.R. Smith, when he comes in the game sometimes, the first time he touches it, he's ready to go. He shoots it or he takes it to the hoop. I think that's the kind of group that we have."

Here are a few other nuggets from Novak's radio appearance:

Main defensive issue from Wednesday's loss: "Our pick-and-roll coverages weren't precise enough. John Wall was coming off and finding guys, and we weren't getting to the roll man quick enough."

Stoudemire: "Everybody really senses his energy and what he can do for us. The way we can throw it into him in the post, and having a guy who can play with his back to the basket and get you buckets, it's just so valuable. ... With so much attention paid to Carmelo (Anthony) and Amar'e, things are going to open up around them for everybody else."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.