The Knicks have operated this season under a haze of confusion, alternating between different schemes, different identities and a weak triangle.
That’s according to Kristaps Porzingis, who described the confusion in his organization as all-encompassing.
“From top to bottom, everybody,” he answered. “So it’s hard to play like that.”
Porzingis’ candid comments were spoken in front of his locker following the latest Knicks’ debacle, a 120-112 defeat to the Nets that underscored, yet again, Jeff Hornacek’s squad is awful on defense. It probably hurts defensively that anchor Joakim Noah is out for the season, but Porzingis also pointed to the inconsistencies in the game plans.
Earlier in the season, the Knicks placed assistant Kurt Rambis in charge of the defense and stopped switching on pick and rolls. They then re-emphasized the triangle offense because, among other reasons, it put them in a better position to thwart transition baskets on the other end.
Nothing has worked. The Knicks are allowing 108.7 points per game.
“We’ve been switching things up. Never at any point in this season, we played like we wanted to. So it was always like, ‘Maybe this will work. Maybe this will work,'” Porzingis said. “So we were kind of looking for stuff and coaches they obviously try to do the best job they can and giving us as much as they can so we have the information. But we never really got it together and were able to execute the way we should have. It’s been a lot of confusion.”
Porzingis, who has applauded the increased focus on the triangle, is also not impressed with the Knicks knowledge of Phil Jackson’s system.
“First of all, we don’t really know the triangle that well. We’re really basic with what we do,” he said. “So a lot of times, it’s basically one-on-one. Whoever it is. Me, Carmelo, Derrick, Courtney. We just try to make something happen. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s very random.”
The good news for Knicks fans is that the team’s best prospect since Patrick Ewing remains optimistic and committed to getting better. Despite the concern about how this dysfunction might cause Porzingis to stray, the NBA is set up so that teams can keep their first-round draft picks by matching any offers following their rookie contracts.
So odds are that Porzingis will remain a Knick, and he views this dreadful season as a stepping stone.
“I think this is really good experience for me, actually. It’s a tough year, it’s a tough everything. There’s a quote, ‘If the sea is smooth, you’re never going to become a great sailor,'” Porzingis said, invoking Franklin D. Roosevelt. “So that’s how I always take it. As a challenge.”
Published at Mon, 13 Mar 2017 02:48:31 +0000