IT’S TIME FOR HORNACEK TO STEP IT UP
Written by Guillem – @GoodOldLiam
Don’t get me wrong. I like what Hornacek has done so far.
Did I expect more? Not really. I liked what he did in Phoenix. How he had a creative offense, a fun team to watch. How he did the A/B teams, showing he will get the best out of the full roster. And I like his character.
He’s just done what I expected; I expected very good things from him.
Now he needs to find ways to improve the performance of the team. Not just wins. Offense and defense.
Right now we are 14th in offense and 25th in defense. With a net rating of -2.9, we are the 20th best team. However, in terms of winning %, we are 12th.
What does that mean? First that we’ve had some bad loses. Second, that when we win, it’s usually by not much.
In fact, the Knicks are 4-1 in games decided by 3 points or less.
Having had a slightly above average difficulty schedule so far, starting with a very difficult one, and with so many new players to gel, that’s promising.
The Knicks have been inconsistent in their performances. But they found results. They adapt; that’s a merit of the coach too.
Evidence: Knicks net rating in 1st halfs is -4.3; in 2nd halfs is -1.3.
What do I want now? I want the Knicks to try new things to improve some inefficiencies.
For example, I see Porzingis defending in the pick and roll many times. Why not switch him and Noah, and let KP just help at the rim, where he’s best?
We struggle stopping the ball. Why not try Lee defending the point guard? Unless we face a SG like Reddick who the opposition run through a lot of screens, it will also let Rose rest a bit more.
Noah’s strength is not scoring, but he is a great passer. Why not try to run some offense through him? You can play a pass inside and then run some split cuts between Melo and KP. I’d really love to see that.
Or why not some elevator plays, not only for shooters like Lee or Kuz, but also for KP? Has any team ever run that play for a 7-foot-3 player?
I’d rather see some of that than watch Jennings try three or four PnR, and after none come to fruition rush a contested long 2 with a couple of seconds to go.
The Knicks offense is becoming a bit predictable. Talent is saving many possessions, something even KP has admitted. I know coach Hornacek has a deeper playbook.
This team is ready to expand its playbook.