There were high expectations for the New York Knicks entering the 2016-17 season. So far, however, the team has not lived up to the hype, sporting one of the worst defenses in the NBA (110 opponent points per game).
To amend the problem, Jeff Hornacek has informally named assistant coach Kurt Rambis the defensive coordinator.
He explained the decision to the New York Daily News:
It could’ve been anybody. It could’ve been Jerry (Sichting), could have been Corey (Gaines). We all talk as a coaching staff about the same things, so Kurt had some of these guys last year. Just felt it was better to put him in that.
We’ve had all the coaches do their own game in terms of what we want. I just felt that we’re probably better off with just one voice, so with Kurt, we are going to have him be the voice on the defense. The other coaches will still do the reports, what they feel, they’ll talk with Kurt and Kurt will talk with me. That’s how we’ll go about that, just so there’s one voice, not three or four guys talking.
Carmelo Anthony also shared his thoughts on Rambis’ new role:
Whether we’re comfortable with (Rambis as the defensive coach) or not, it is what it is. And we got to buy into that and embrace that and kinda just focus in on our schemes and what we want to do and just have kinda a foundation of how we gonna do it and what we gonna do and go by that.
The first change implemented by the Knicks’ new defensive point man: no more switching on pick and rolls. We’ll see how it pans out.