The New York Knicks sit at 1-3 and still have a lot of kinks to work out with its new roster pieces and head coach. Fans and analysts alike expected Kristaps Porzingis to take a major leap in his second year, but the big man has gotten off to a slow start, averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 boards per game.
Following last night’s loss to the Rockets, a game where Porzingis had just 3 points, head coach Jeff Hornacek said that the Knicks have to make it a point to get the franchise player the ball.
Via Ian Begley and ESPN:
“They’ve got to do a better job of getting him the ball when he’s got a mismatch,” Hornacek said after the Knicks fell to 1-3 following a 19-point loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. “There were several times where he’s in the area on a smaller guy and we’re not necessarily looking for him. We’re looking for the next thing. We’ve got to find that mismatch, throw it up there, let him gather the ball and make a play on that.
“They were switching; a lot of times he had a 6-5, 6-6 guy on him. We have to take advantage of that and just didn’t see it,” Hornacek said.
More concerning that Porzingis’ lack of touches is the Knicks’ lack of defense. New York is giving up an average of 110.3 points per game and allowed James Harden to drop an easy 30 and 15 at the Garden. Derrick Rose told reporters that the team will keep getting “smacked” if they play like that:
“If we don’t come out and play defense, we’re going to keep getting smacked like this.”