Jeff Hornacek (head coach of the New York Knicks) waned his team to play defense and play hard instead of focusing on winning: Friday night’s 128-105 clearly and empirically shows that his team did not get the memo.
Is It the Roster?
Looking at the New York Knicks roster, one would argue that Hornacek’s requirements are overly ambitious. Then again, this is NBA; there’s no such thing as being too ambitious. Losing to Clippers by this margin is nothing less than a debacle.
But Hornacek is persistent, still preaching pride and hard work will eventually pay out. Furthermore, the emphasis on active defense is more than expected. NY Daily News mentions that “the Knicks own the worst defensive rating in the NBA over their last ten games.”
The problem partially does lie in his roster: slow defenders, poor shooters, and out-of-meta centers that want extra minutes on the court.
Call For a Lineup Change?
DeAndre Jordan scored 19 points: that didn’t bother Horneck as much as the fact that Jordan had to throw only two free throws. Now that is frustrating! That lack of competitiveness and the desire to fight and not give away easy points is what bothered Horneck the most.
Horneck announces lineup change, having a defense in mind. Specifically, there has been some talk that Lance Thomas will replace Michael Beasly. In any case, something has to be changed.
Hitting rock bottom
This is, without a doubt, the last wakeup call for the Knicks. Moreover, Horneck’s job is definitely on the line, and loss like this won’t help his resume. But not all is lost though.
The team gathered on Saturday and dissected the replay. Mudiay said that the practice was very productive, each player admitting mistakes, sharing and listening to the advice. After all, people learn best from their mistakes, and the only way to do that is to recognize those mistakes and move on by trying to fix them.
Lack of Identity
The lack of identity and fighting spirit was evident in their game versus Clippers; it’s not that they lost, its how they lost. Horneck said that team’s lack of enthusiasm and ambition on the court bothered him the most.
Time will tell if the replay dissection will help Knicks rebound and win their next match versus the Sacramento Kings (18-43). A loss versus Kings would be nothing less than a disaster for team’s morale. And that is what they desperately need right now, a morale boost.
This morale boost could be the step in the right direction, direction that they desperately need, the path that could help Knicks finally form and shape their identity, one which they currently lack.