It took four games for Jeff Hornacek to get mad about the way the Knicks are playing defense. New York is 1-3 on the year and have allowed 110.3 points per game, the third-worst mark in the Eastern Conference. It was always going to take a while for the Knicks’ defense to really gel (if it was even going to gel at all), but still, these numbers are not exactly going to inspire confidence in anyone.
Hornacek thinks that there’s a really simple solution to fix some of New York’s issues on defense: listen to the team’s coaches. According to Ian Begley of ESPN…
One way to fix the Knicks’ defense? Jeff Hornacek said his players need to pay attention to detail shared by the coaching staff. “Our coaches work hard to put scouting reports together and we’ve got to make sure we follow them.”
In fairness to New York’s players, it’s four games into the season, the team has three new starters and a new head coach, and it’s totally possible that the defense will improve as the season progresses. Plus two of these first four games were against a pair of top-5 scoring offenses, Cleveland (second) and Houston (fifth). And who knows? Maybe Hornacek is right in that the coaches’ defensive scouting reports would remedy some of the team’s issues.
Then again, two of the Knicks’ starters, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, aren’t exactly known for their defensive prowess. Joakim Noah is getting older, the team’s bench isn’t full of game-changing defenders, and there’s only so much that guys like Kristaps Porzingis and Courtney Lee can do to plug all of the team’s holes on that end of the floor.
Really, it’s hard to imagine that any gameplan can fix all of the Knicks’ issues on defense, but it can’t hurt to follow them and see what happens.