At 26-38 on the year and 12th in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks have been forced to do some soul-searching. But fortunately, head coach Jeff Hornacek may have found his zen.
The Knicks defeated the Orlando Magic by the final of 113-105 on Monday in a game that saw Derrick Rose benched for the entire fourth quarter in favor of rookie guard Chasson Randle. Carmelo Anthony also sat out Monday’s game with knee soreness and was noticeably absent for an over nine-minute stretch in the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors the day before.
After the win over Orlando, Hornacek indicated a willingness to keep playing his younger guys over his veterans in certain situations.
“Some nights that’s going to happen,” said Hornacek, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “They enjoyed playing together. They moved the ball and didn’t try to do too much. The other guys stepped up.”
Anthony and Rose are two of the team’s three leading scorers this season (along with 21-year-old Kristaps Porzingis). But they do have a tendency to strangle ball movement and take the entire offense hostage as they jab step and go off the dribble. For Hornacek, who’s had his fair share of frustrations with the duo over the course of the year, a more invigorated youth movement could help him find some meaning in the final month of this lost season.
H/T NBA Reddit
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek is having none of his predecessor’s shade.
In an interview with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report that ran on Monday, former Knicks coach Derek Fisher, who was fired by the team last season and eventually replaced by Hornacek, opened up about a number of topics. Among them was the job that Hornacek has been doing with the Knicks this season relative to the one Fisher himself did.
“We were able to take a team that wasn’t as talented as the team they have now, and we were much better and much further along than this group is that they have now,” Fisher said. “Because the foundation was being laid. That’s different than just trying to coach basketball—and it takes longer. That’s the part that you can’t measure in wins and losses either. That’s what we were doing the best at.”
But speaking with reporters on Tuesday, it was Hornacek’s turn to clap back, saying that Fisher had violated coaching protocol by criticizing others within the profession.
“Well, I wouldn’t do it,” Hornacek said, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “I don’t think a lot of other guys would do it. But certain guys will.
“There’s enough analysts, reporters, that always like to talk about should’ve, could’ve, what they did, so we don’t pay much attention to it,” he continued. “I think he’s probably also trying to put himself in a light that someone else will give him a job. That’s probably why he’s putting it out there.
“Whatever he did last year, he had a year and a half here — his relationship with Phil, whatever it was, again, this is a new year. Everything’s new,” Hornacek concluded. “Again, he may have thought he did something with that team from last year. I’m not concerned about that.”
Image via New York Knicks on YouTube
Derrick Rose’s absence from Monday’s Knicks-Pelicans game came as a surprise to many, according to reports, but now we’re learning about some of the circumstances surrounding his current standing with the Knicks.
Rose did not show up for Monday’s game at MSG, and many of his teammates, team officials and associates did not know why. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Rose was not happy about being benched in the fourth quarter against Milwaukee on Friday night. Rose played 26 minutes in a loss to the Pacers the next night.
According to SNY’s Tommy Dee, Rose and Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had a “major blowout” after that game.
Re: Rose source tells me that he and Hornacek had a "major blowout" following the Pacers game.
— Tommy Dee (@ThomasCDee) January 10, 2017
Hornacek and Rose are both in their first years with the Knicks. Hornacek was hired as the team’s head coach in June, while Rose was acquired in a trade with the Bulls over the offseason.
The Knicks have their highest winning percentage since the 2012-2013 season but are 17-21 after Monday’s loss. Hornacek did not want to comment on Rose after the game until he had more information.
Jeff Hornacek said he doesn't want to comment on the Rose situation until he has more information.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 10, 2017
Jeff Hornacek says he believes Derrick Rose will back with the team.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 10, 2017
A video clip from the New York Knicks’ home loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday night is going viral and seems to show coach Jeff Hornacek getting frustrated with one of Carmelo Anthony’s decision.
During the third quarter of the game, ‘Melo waved off his teammates and called an isolation play for himself. As MSG pointed out, Hornacek, seen in the top left corner in the video, seemed to get frustrated as he turned his back after Anthony brushed aside his teammates.
Melo calls his own number…
Jeff Hornacek (upper left hand corner of the video) seems annoyed and turns his back and walks away… pic.twitter.com/TOSDqb2CPV
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 3, 2017
Anthony is certainly a fantastic offensive weapon, but people have long criticized him for being a ball-stopper because of all his isolation plays. It didn’t help that he was having an off game going 6-for-17 shooting for just 19 points and a team-worst negative 14 plus/minus rating for the game.
Whether Hornacek’s reaction was to ‘Melo calling his own number is debatable, but what’s not is that Hornacek was definitely frustrated after the loss. He openly ripped the team’s defense after the game and wondered whether his squad could even defend.
Anthony wasn’t exactly stellar on that end against Orlando, either.
Interestingly, MSG broadcast brought attention to Melo's defense/effort on multiple occasions in the blowout loss to Orlando… pic.twitter.com/HMnRYgM2hT
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 3, 2017
Hornacek recently backed Anthony publicly when his star player faced criticism from George Karl, but these few things make you wonder whether he’s also privately frustrated with the forward.
The New York Knicks are in a free fall, and it’s coming as a harsh reality check for head coach Jeff Hornacek.
After a 115-103 loss to the lowly Orlando Magic Monday, Hornacek wondered out loud if his team was at all capable of playing any kind of defense.
“I have to find someone to play some defense,” Hornacek said, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “We’ve got to have better pride in that. I don’t think our guys aren’t trying. Maybe we’re just not capable of it.”
The Knicks are now losers of five straight games and have surrendered 100-plus points in each of those defeats. They’ve sunk to 16-18 on the year and rank a woeful 25th in defensive efficiency (per ESPN).
The team made this change early on in the season in the hopes of improving their play on the defensive end, but it ultimately appears to have been futile. That’s left Hornacek scrambling for answers that may have never been there to begin with, especially given the mega-decline of former DPOY Joakim Noah and the offense-first styles of Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony.
- Jeff Hornacek
Carmelo Anthony was having a rough day on Thursday with criticism from his former coach George Karl making headlines, but at least he has the support of his current coach.
In response to Karl’s criticism of ‘Melo, Hornacek was asked for how it’s been coaching Anthony on the New York Knicks. The first-year Knicks coach called Anthony “great” to deal with.
“Carmelo for us has been great. Whatever happened in the past that guys talk about I know none of that,” Hornacek said Thursday via ESPN’s Ian Begley. “All I can go by is what I’ve seen out of Carmelo here. He’s done everything we’ve asked, and what the coaches want him to do. He’s been a great leader for our team. So that’s it simply for me.”
Karl, who coached Carmelo in Denver for five-plus seasons until Anthony forced his way out with a trade, was critical of ‘Melo in his new book. Karl ripped Anthony for not playing defense and being a true leader of the team. Karl also was critical of Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith, pointing the finger at the upbringing both had. Martin has already responded.
There are a few things to note: Anthony’s reputation as an offensive-oriented player is nothing new, and it’s a shortcoming many analysts point out when evaluating his play. Secondly, ‘Melo was in his early-20s when Karl coached him and has spent his veteran years with the Knicks. Perhaps he’s grown as a player and become more willing to share the spotlight, which would lead Hornacek to have a different opinion of the superstar from Karl.
One of the big questions surrounding the New York Knicks was whether team president Phil Jackson would interfere in coach Jeff Hornacek’s practices and preparations. So far, according to Hornacek, that hasn’t happened.
“Phil’s been great,” Hornacek said Sunday, via Ian Begley of ESPN. “He’s not trying to take over and make us do anything. He’s given us the leeway. There are some things that we do that aren’t the triangle stuff [such as] our early [offense]. Quite honestly, we thought he would say, ‘Let’s not do that.’ Or, ‘Let’s not do that option.’ But he hasn’t said that at all.”
Hornacek said Jackson has been helpful in teaching but hands-off in implementing aspects of the triangle offense.
“We talk quite a bit, but he’s been hands off,” Hornacek said. “He gives some directions here and there. If he sees something or he says, ‘Hey, let’s take a look, clean this up, this particular action.’ So it’s good.
“It’s another coach out there — he’s run it for years and years, so when he sees something — really, he’s not coming in there saying, ‘Hey, change it to this,’ or ‘Change it to that.’ It’s good, additional information.”
Hornacek said when hired that his aim was to implement some of the triangle offense. That didn’t do much to silence those who questioned whether Hornacek would just be a Jackson puppet. We can’t be sure, of course, and things may change if the Knicks go south early, but Hornacek is fine with things for now.