The New York Knicks need some new defensive schemes - or perhaps some new players.
Coach Jeff Hornacek said maybe the ones he has are "just not capable" of defending after their 115-103 loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
The Knicks have lost a season-high five straight games and the last two have been particularly ugly. They allowed a season-high 69 points in the first half to James Harden and Houston on Saturday night, then surrendered 67 more by halftime Monday to an Orlando team that isn't exactly an offensive powerhouse.
"I think they're trying. We might not be good defensively," Hornacek said. "We might have to start figuring out ways to trap and do some gimmicky defenses."
That would only work if the personnel can execute them, and Hornacek isn't sure they are.
"Maybe we're just not capable," Hornacek said. "I don't know. That's what we're going to have to figure out. We might have to play some of these other guys." >> Read more
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
The Knicks have to figure out how they are going to stop the PG-C pick-and-roll moving forward, but most importantly, as Hornacek said, they need to make teams less comfortable to start the game. They can't allow visiting teams to feel like they have a chance to win on your floor. The Knicks had a lot of magic at the Garden in 2016, and while that could return once everyone is healthy, they have to figure out ways to win when they are less than 100 percent.
A possible solution would be subbing out Carmelo Anthony in the first quarter so they don't fall into lulls defensively when he's expended most of his energy. Hornacek may have to consider going longer with Kristaps Porzingis and bringing Anthony earlier in the second quarter like he's been doing with Porzingis. That is risky, because it's worked so well for the second-year Latvian thus far as he's been able to exploit matchups, but if the team continues to struggle in the opening frame then Hornacek may be left with little choice.